Effects of Malaria Infection on Mosquito Olfacation and Behaviour Essay Example

Stanczyk, Mescher and De Moraes (2017) succinctly provide thesis statement for the research identifying gaps in previous studies. From the onset, the study gives readers an overview of how it is going to build and use effects of malaria infection on mosquito olfacation and behaviour and the tools that will be required in accomplishing the task. Importantly, the research uses mosquito olfacation and behaviour to introduce to its readers existing behaviours. However, development of its research thesis fails to establish how the research thesis statement will be tested. Additionally, the thesis provides room to believe that the research may not solely base its data on effects of malaria infection on mosquito olfacation and behaviour but it aims to test different variables and research hypotheses the research generates.

Numerous theoretical and empirical studies have been conducted to investigate the influence of vector- borne pathogens on the behaviour and physiology of the vectors (Pollit et al., 2015). Some studies have concluded that indeed these vector-borne pathogens have an influence on the vectors. Mauck, Bosque-Pérez, Eigenbrode, Moraes, Mescher and Fox (2012) who found out that the mosquito infected with the plasmodium parasites were engorged with blood meaning they had bitten several host. Other studies opposes this finding with research findings showing that the effect of the vector-borne pathogens is not the same to all vectors for example Alvarado-Delgado et al. (2016) found that there was no evidence of the effects of plasmodium parasites on the feeding behaviour of mosquitos. Relating these researches with Stanczyk et al. (2017) research methodology information provided connects well with Alvarado-Delgado et al. (2016) research and previous researches. While citing different studies, the authors trace the birth of effects of malaria infection on mosquito olfacation and behaviour.

Yet, another study suggests that the vectors behaviour is influenced by the immunity of the vector in response to detection of a foreign organism that is the vector-borne pathogens (Pollitt, Bram, Blanford, Jones and Read, 2015). Based on Pollit et al. (2015) findings, Stanczyk et al. (2017) fail to incorporate theoretical framework in the introduction section. To understand the author’s central purpose, theoretical framework needs to be provided in the introduction section. Effects of malaria infection on mosquito olfacation and behaviour: extrapolating data to the field ought to have joined in the debate by analysing the influence of vector-borne pathogens on the behaviour and the traits of other vectors in specific reference to mosquito as a vector. It looks at plasmodium parasites influences on the behaviour and the physiology of mosquitos which in turn enhances the transmission of malaria.

Apart from the studies quoted in Stanczyk et al. (2017) other similar studies have been conducted across the globe due to the global impact of malaria. One of such studies is Stoddard et al. (2009) while researching on “The Role of Human Movement in the Transmission of Vector-Borne Pathogens.” This study concluded that the Identification of down regulated and up regulated protein expression in the brain of the mosquito 24 hours later after Plasmodium has invaded the mosquito paves way for better understanding of the transmission process. Yet another study Mauck et al. (2012) concluded that the transmission mechanisms could be factors that influence manipulative strategies of the vectorbornepathogens. Another study Pollitt et al. (2015) on ‘Existing Infection Facilitates Establishment and Density of Malaria Parasites in Their MosquitoVector results suggested that the mosquitoes that takes multiple bites that are infective may disproportionally contribute to the transmission of malaria. But still, such review shows that Stanczyk et al. (2017) have limited information regarding different stages of malaria infection on mosquito olfacation and behaviour. The relevance of the journal in assessing the stages of malaria infection on mosquito olfacation and behaviour is that it outlines some contentious issues in the development of mosquito olfacation and behaviour. Stanczyk et al. (2017) determine the validity of extrapolation from laboratory studies and to field condition in order to bring into understanding the relationship between parasite effects and vector transmission dynamics.

This research uses extrapolation as the methodology for its findings. Extrapolation is the use of past findings in order to predict what will happen next. This research is plausible in that it has achieved forecasting by quoting several researches that has been done on the topic, it clearly draws the conflicting research finding and concludes that more research should still be done to bridge the research gaps of previous research. Strength of this research is that it uses data and studies that have been done recently and therefore adding to the validity of the findings. Again, the extrapolation has used very limited words and space and has succeeded in drawing a clear picture of several research that have been done on the topic.

In some ways, there are loopholes that can be found in this study. Firstly, the researcher assumes that the previous researches that he is basing his conclusion on are accurate, much as there are several studies that are used as reference; the findings are unreliable as one cannot actually determine their validity. Secondly, the extrapolation has failed to use studies that were conducted on similar circumstances. All the studies quoted were done in different circumstances using completely different methodologies and thus it is unfair to measure them on the same scale.

Despite the few weaknesses noted, on the overall this extrapolation succeeds in giving a comprehensive and detailed report on the several studies that have been done to determine the effects of malaria infection on mosquito olfacation and behaviour. It therefore brings the attention of potential researchers to the research gap as it suggests that the current existing research is not conclusive. It also offer lead to such potential researchers to combine laboratory research and field research in order to get a better understanding of pathogen- vector relationship in malaria transmission. From the extrapolation, our eyes are opened to the fact that previous studies were not focused on same species of mosquitos and this definitely affects reliability and validity. To achieve better findings, researchers should hence focus on conducting studies that are specific to certain species.


Alvarado-Delgado, A., Perales Ortiz, G., Tello-López, Á. T., Encarnación, S., Conde, R., Martínez-Batallar, Á. G., & … Lanz-Mendoza, H. (2016). Infection with Plasmodium berghei ookinetes alters protein expression in the brain of Anopheles albimanus mosquitoes. Parasites & Vectors, 91-11. doi:10.1186/s13071-016-1830-9

Mauck, K., Bosque-Pérez, N. A., Eigenbrode, S. D., Moraes, C. M., Mescher, M. C., & Fox, C. (2012). Transmission mechanisms shape pathogen effects on host-vector interactions: evidence from plant viruses. Functional Ecology, 26(5), 1162-1175. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2435.2012.02026.x

Pollitt, L. C., Bram, J. T., Blanford, S., Jones, M. J., & Read, A. F. (2015). Existing Infection Facilitates Establishment and Density of Malaria Parasites in Their Mosquito Vector. Plos Pathogens, 11(7), 1-18. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005003

Stanczyk, N. M., Mescher, M. C., & De Moraes, C. M. (2017). Effects of malaria infection on mosquito olfaction and behavior: extrapolating data to the field. Current Opinion in Insect Science.

Stoddard, S. T., Morrison, A. C., Vazquez-Prokopec, G. M., Soldan, V. P., Kochel, T. J., Kitron, U., & … Scott, T. W. (2009). The Role of Human Movement in the Transmission of Vector-Borne Pathogens. Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases, 3(7), 1-9. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000481.