Sugar Based Delivery of Spider Toxin for Mosquito Control

Suliman, Marsha
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Mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue fever and malaria, have become increasingly prevalent issues, especially in humid communities where mosquitoes thrive. Therefore, it has been necessary to seek out and develop ways to inhibit such diseases from spreading from their pest host. One such way is to target and kill disease-carrying mosquitoes is through the use of spider toxins. Toxin genes were introduced into tobacco leaves, which produced the transgenic toxin protein. To test each toxins effectiveness against the mosquitoes, it had to be introduced into a bait solution to be fed to Aedes egypti mosquitoes. Assays were performed, and the number of mosquitoes that had imbibed the solution and subsequently died was counted over a fifteen day period. It was found that a sugar bait solution consisting primarily of sucrose was an effective bait to attract the mosquitoes. Its effectiveness could be attributed to the fact that sucrose is a key factor in mosquito growth and development. Future studies could include further examination of toxin stability and effectiveness in other sugar solutions and delivery systems. Similarly, other toxins and proteins could also be tested for their stability in sugar bait.