Thu February 23, 2012 By:

Why is it so that mosquitoes digest HIV virus and can't transmit AIDS but can carry other pathogens like plasmodium and cause malaria?

Expert Reply
Thu February 23, 2012

Mosquitoes cannot transmit AIDS ?because ?t?h?e?y?????????? actually digest the virus. So the virus does not replicate and is broken down before it can be transmitted to someone else. Also, mosquitoes pass such minuscule amounts of blood when biting that infection is not possible.

But mosquitoes do not digest Plasmodium. On the contrary, it develops in the mosquito and completes a part of its life cycle there.

So when the mosquito feeds on an infected person, it icks up the Plasmodium parasite. The parasite develops in the mosquito's body for about two weeks. When the mosquito feeds, the malaria parasite is passed on in saliva. They transmit several other diseases in similar ways.

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