Science - November 24, 2016

Preparing mosquitoes

Albert Sikkema

Giel Göertz of the Laboratory for Virology and Chantal Vogels of the Laboratory for Entomology prepare mosquitoes for research on zika. Göertz knocks the mosquitoes out with CO2 and removes their wings and legs so they cannot fly or walk away.

Vogels places their piercing mouthparts into the end of a pipette. Once these preparations have been made, 100 of the mosquitoes will be fed blood infected with zika, another 100 will get blood with chikungunya and a further 100, blood with both viruses. Then the mosquitoes’ saliva will be tested. The researchers want to know whether the viruses reinforce or weaken each other. They hope to find an explanation for the zika epidemic in Latin America. The study takes place in a highly secure lab in Radix.