Thus far, ‘There is no evidence that mosquitoes or other insects can transmit Ebola virus‘ (1). However, several other viral diseases are mosquito-borne. These include Chikungunya virus, Dengue virus, Yellow fever virus, Zika virus, to mention a few. These are transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes do get infected by the viruses they transmit (See figure below from 2).

As the figure highlights, in addition to successfully replicating in the mid gut, viruses taken in during blood meals face several barriers to productive infection of mosquitoes. These include a) a time constraint in infecting mosquito mid gut epithelial cells, b) successful escape from mid gut epithelial cells after they replicate within them, and c) successful infection and replication within mosquito salivary glands.

There is also evidence of mosquito-to-mosquito virus transmission (3). While mosquito immune responses against parasitic Protozoa such as Plasmodium are quite well-studied (4), mosquitoes can also make immune responses against viruses that infect them. Studies have found specific mosquito mid-gut immune responses against Arbovirus such as Chikungunya, Dengue virus and West Nile fever (see summary figure from 5, 6).


1. Transmission | Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever | CDC

2. Franz, Alexander WE, et al. “Tissue barriers to arbovirus infection in mosquitoes.” Viruses 7.7 (2015): 3741-3767. Tissue Barriers to Arbovirus Infection in Mosquitoes

3. Haddow, Andrew D., et al. “First isolation of Aedes flavivirus in the Western Hemisphere and evidence of vertical transmission in the mosquito Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae).” Virology 440.2 (2013): 134-139. https://www.researchgate.net/pro…

4. Jaramillo-Gutierrez, Giovanna, et al. “Mosquito immune responses and compatibility between Plasmodium parasites and anopheline mosquitoes.” BMC microbiology 9.1 (2009): 1. https://www.researchgate.net/pro…

5. Saraiva, Raúl G., et al. “Mosquito gut antiparasitic and antiviral immunity.” Developmental & Comparative Immunology (2016).

6. Sim, Shuzhen, Natapong Jupatanakul, and George Dimopoulos. “Mosquito immunity against Arboviruses.” Viruses 6.11 (2014): 4479-4504. Mosquito Immunity against Arboviruses