Transmission of disease

The mosquito probiscis

Fig. 33. The proboscis of a mosquito consists of many parts which collectively form a pair of thin tubes that are injected into the skin. (Herm)

As mentioned, there are malaria mosquitoes in Denmark; however, the malaria has died out. Malaria parasites are not present in Denmark. Therefore, it is not dangerous to be bitten by mosquitoes in Denmark. They are not suspected of transmitting serious diseases.

It has been discussed whether mosquitoes can transmit infectious jaundice or AIDS to humans. They are virus diseases which can be transmitted from person to person by contaminated syringes. It is an obvious conclusion that a mosquito, a small flying needle must be able to do the same. Such transmission does probably not happen with these diseases, because the mosquito sucks and spits through two separate pipes. The blood it has sucked from a jaundice or AIDS patient is therefore not spit into the next victim. The risk that a random infectious agent is still on the thin proboscis when the mosquito has finished digesting and is ready to bite again is so small that it is highly unlikely. However, scientists still research the mosquito’s ability to transmit the virus to humans. If a virus is to be transmitted from mosquitoes to humans, it must be able to multiply both in humans and in mosquitoes. Furthermore, it must be able to get into the mosquitoes’ hypopharynxt, so that it can be spit into humans.