Identification of mosquito bloodmeals collected in diverse habitats in Malaysian borneo using COI barcoding

Katherine I. Young, Joseph T. Medwid, Sasha R. Azar, Robert M. Huff, Hannah Drumm, Lark L. Coffey, R. Jason Pitts, Michaela Buenemann, Nikos Vasilakis, David Perera, Kathryn A. Hanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Land cover and land use change (LCLUC) acts as a catalyst for spillover of arthropod-borne pathogens into novel hosts by shifting host and vector diversity, abundance, and distribution, ultimately reshaping host–vector interactions. Identification of bloodmeals from wild-caught mosquitoes provides insight into host utilization of particular species in particular land cover types, and hence their potential role in pathogen maintenance and spillover. Here, we collected 134 blood-engorged mosquitoes comprising 10 taxa across 9 land cover types in Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo, a region experiencing intense LCLUC and concomitant spillover of arthropod-borne pathogens. Host sources of blood were successfully identified for 116 (87%) mosquitoes using cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) barcoding. A diverse range of hosts were identified, including reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Sixteen engorged Aedes albopictus, a major vector of dengue virus, were collected from seven land cover types and found to feed exclusively on humans (73%) and boar (27%). Culex tritaeniohynchus (n = 2), Cx. gelidus (n = 3), and Cx. quiquefasciatus (n = 3), vectors of Japanese encephalitis virus, fed on humans and pigs in the rural built-up land cover, creating potential transmission networks between these species. Our data support the use of COI barcoding to characterize mosquito–host networks in a biodiversity hotspot.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number51
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Aedes
  • Arbovirus
  • Bloodmeal
  • Borneo
  • Dengue virus
  • Host
  • Land cover and land use change
  • Mosquito
  • Vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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