Honors College Theses

Date

2021

Major

Biology (B.S.B.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. William Irby

Abstract

Anopheles quadrimaculatus sensu lato is a known vector of Dirofilaria immitis, a filarial nematode that causes canine heartworm disease. Canine heartworm disease is common throughout the Southeastern United States, especially in Georgia. This study focused on ascertaining if members of the five sibling species in the Anopheles quadrimaculatus sensu lato species complex differ in carrying canine heartworms in Southeastern Georgia. Mosquitoes were collected under bridges in Bulloch County and Effingham County using a battery powered modified CDC backpack aspirator. The Anopheles quadrimaculatus sensu lato mosquitoes collected were identified to specific species and sex. Females were dissected and viewed with a compound microscope to check for the presence of Dirofilaria immitis. None of the collected mosquitoes were found to be heartworm positive, but the larger prevalence of Anopheles quadrimaculatus sensu stricto was noted, as well as the smaller prevalence of Anopheles inundatus. More research is necessary to understand if there is a difference in vector competency and susceptibility between the five sibling species of Anopheles quadrimaculatus sensu lato.

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