KRISTAL DALE F. CORPUZ – #6536448
Malaria is one of the most prevalent and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by Plasmodium spp. which uses mosquitoes (Anopheles spp.) to transmit and infect human often via blood-meal of the infective female mosquito. Cases usually occurs in warm regions (tropical and subtropical) including Thailand, but the species of vector and pathogen may vary. Based on literatures, only Anopheles spp. can transmit the pathogen and cause malaria. On the other hand, Aedes aegypti which is also an important mosquito species, has the capacity to carry and transmit viruses that can cause dengue, yellow fever, Zika, and Chikungunya. Same with malaria transmission, these viruses infect a human through blood-meal of the infective female Aedes mosquito. In this scenario, vector-pathogen or parasite relationship is evident. Aedes aegypti is not a malaria vector in Thailand because some factors affects the vector-parasite relationship which includes the transmission cycle, parasite-infection specificity, and the mosquito immune defenses. In the first place, Aedes spp. is not a primary vector of malaria which means for one that the pathogen’s infective stage can not be detected in the mosquito (although some current literature found out that there might be some cases of detection but the pathogen still failed to further develop to be able to get transmitted). In terms of parasite-infection specificity or the outcome of exposure of the Aedes aegypti to Plasmodium spp., it is as refractory wherein the pathogen fails to initiate development inside the mosquito due to its physiological and/or biochemical incompatability. Lastly, the Aedes aegypti’s innate immunity and the pathogen’s response to this determine the incompatability and beneficial trade-off. In summary, Aedes aegypti’s inability to be a malaria vector is attributed to its vector competence which subsequently affects the vectorial capacity of the said mosquito.