About this Research Topic
Mosquitoes are the main vectors of pathogens affecting humans, wildlife and livestock. Relevant diseases including malaria, yellow fever, and West Nile virus have produced dramatic population declines around the world. In addition to their relevance in public health, mosquitoes play a central role from an ecological and evolutionary perspective as vectors of pathogens that affect animals. This is the case for the widespread malarial parasites, capable of infecting wildlife and humans. Despite the epidemiological importance of host selection by mosquitoes for the transmission of these pathogens, this topic has traditionally been neglected in studies conducted under natural conditions.
This Research Topic will include cutting-edge research articles in this field, focusing on the identification of factors that affect host selection by mosquitoes. Heterogeneity in host selection by insect vectors is a hot topic, with different authors currently investigating the role of host traits, such as infection status and metabolism, in the susceptibility of vertebrate hosts to insect attacks. Recently, molecular approaches have been used to identify the different feeding preferences of mosquito species, with some species feeding on specific vertebrate groups (mammals/birds). Therefore, all these factors may determine the transmission success of pathogens between infected and susceptible hosts.
Our main aim is to edit an issue including the latest theoretical and empirical research on this topic, including both correlational and experimental approaches, as well as reviews or short review articles. These papers will cover a broad range of studies on host selection by mosquitoes, from those exploring the mechanisms underlying host selection by mosquitoes (e.g. physiological and behavioral responses to host cues) to studies identifying the epidemiological consequences of this selection.
Keywords: insect vectors, host selection, pathogen transmission, wildlife, public health
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.