BiteOscope, an open platform to study mosquito biting behavior

  1. Felix JH Hol  Is a corresponding author
  2. Louis Lambrechts
  3. Manu Prakash
  1. Stanford University, United States
  2. Institut Pasteur, France

Abstract

Female mosquitoes need a blood meal to reproduce, and in obtaining this essential nutrient they transmit deadly pathogens. Although crucial for the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, blood feeding remains poorly understood due to technological limitations. Indeed, studies often expose human subjects to assess biting behavior. Here, we present the biteOscope, a device that attracts mosquitoes to a host mimic which they bite to obtain an artificial blood meal. The host mimic is transparent, allowing high-resolution imaging of the feeding mosquito. Using machine learning we extract detailed behavioral statistics describing the locomotion, pose, biting, and feeding dynamics of Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus, Anopheles stephensi, and Anopheles coluzzii. In addition to characterizing behavioral patterns, we discover that the common insect repellent DEET repels Anopheles coluzzii upon contact with their legs. The biteOscope provides a new perspective on mosquito blood feeding, enabling the high-throughput quantitative characterization of this lethal behavior.

Data availability

Source data files for Figures 2 and 3 are provided as Supplementary Files, code to generate figures is available from Github: https://github.com/felixhol/biteOscope

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Felix JH Hol

    Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, United States
    For correspondence
    felix.hol@pasteur.fr
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-8061-0826
  2. Louis Lambrechts

    Insect-Virus Interactions Unit, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-5958-2138
  3. Manu Prakash

    Bioengineering, Stanford University, Stanford, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-8046-8388

Funding

Burroughs Wellcome Fund (Career Award at the Scientific Interface)

  • Felix JH Hol

H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (PiQMosqBite)

  • Felix JH Hol

Dutch Research Council NWO (Rubicon)

  • Felix JH Hol

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-16-CE35-0004-01)

  • Louis Lambrechts

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-18-CE35-0003-01)

  • Louis Lambrechts

Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR-10-LABX-62-IBEID)

  • Louis Lambrechts

National Institutes of Health (DP2-AI124336)

  • Manu Prakash

United States Agency for International Development (Grand Challenges: Zika and Future Threats)

  • Felix JH Hol
  • Manu Prakash

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Elena A Levashina, Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, Germany

Version history

  1. Received: March 11, 2020
  2. Accepted: September 5, 2020
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: September 22, 2020 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: October 5, 2020 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2020, Hol et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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  1. Felix JH Hol
  2. Louis Lambrechts
  3. Manu Prakash
(2020)
BiteOscope, an open platform to study mosquito biting behavior
eLife 9:e56829.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.56829

Share this article

https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.56829

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