Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

We have developed a simple and relatively cheap method to distinguish the origin of mosquito blood meals between close family members, effective for both laboratory and field samples. Each blood meal was squashed on to filter paper and eluted overnight with 0.5 mL phosphate-buffered saline. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) was extracted using a chemical matrix (Insta-gene) which bound to everything from the blood meal except DNA, which remained in the supernatant. Following extractions, reference DNA samples taken directly from finger-prick blood of human subjects and those from blood meals of unknown origin were amplified with human microsatellite markers using a thermal cycler. Polymerase chain reaction products were then run on an ABI gel (Automated Biosystems) to obtain a genotype for each sample. The DNA from each mosquito blood meal was then matched to an individual host. With laboratory samples, human DNA which had been extracted from mosquito blood meals up to 12 h after feeding could be used. One important application of this method will be to identify which members of a community are most at risk from vector-borne diseases. It also has numerous potential applications in studies of insect biting behaviour in both human and veterinary science.

Original publication




Journal article


Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg

Publication Date





572 - 574


Adult, Animals, Anopheles, Child, DNA, Protozoan, Feeding Behavior, Female, Heterozygote, Humans, Malaria, Microsatellite Repeats, Parasitology, Pedigree, Polymerase Chain Reaction