Document Type


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

Publication Date



vector–parasite interaction, mosquito, filarial infection, life history, infectious dose, intraspecific competition


For organisms with complex life cycles, larval environments can modify adult phenotypes. For mosquitoes and other vectors, when physiological impacts of stressors acting on larvae carry over into the adult stage they may interact with infectious dose of a vector-borne pathogen, producing a range of phenotypes for vector potential. Investigation of impacts of a common source of stress, larval crowding and intraspecific competition, on adult vector interactions with pathogens may increase our understanding of the dynamics of pathogen transmission by mosquito vectors. Using Aedes aegypti and the nematode parasite Brugia pahangi, we demonstrate dose dependency of fitness effects of B. pahangi infection on the mosquito, as well as interactions between competitive stress among larvae and infectious dose for resulting adults that affect the physiological and functional ability of mosquitoes to act as vectors. Contrary to results from studies on mosquito–arbovirus interactions, our results suggest that adults from crowded larvae may limit infection better than do adults from uncrowded controls, and that mosquitoes from high-quality larval environments are more physiologically and functionally capable vectors of B. pahangi. Our results provide another example of how the larval environment can have profound effects on vector potential of resulting adults.

Funding Source

This research was supported by grants from Illinois State University, NIAID grant nos. R15-AI075306-0, R15-AI094322-01A1, R01-AI044793 to S.A.J., Phi Sigma grants and Sigma Xi GIAR to J.A.B. and the Bradley University STEM research program.


First published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences volume 281, issue 1786 (Jul 2014). © 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.



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