Physiological and metabolic consequences of viral infection in Drosophila melanogaster.
We have examined metabolic rate, lipid and carbohydrate of female Aedes aegypti during 10 days following a malaria-infected bloodmeal. In parallel, we determined bloodmeal size, portions retained and diuresed, and subsequent fecundity. We found that mosquitoes obtained identical masses of blood when feeding on an infected or control host. However, infected mosquitoes lost more mass during diuresis and retained a smaller mass. Infection led to a significant reduction in fecundity, the extent of which could not be explained by the difference in post-diuresis bloodmeal mass alone. We found no differences in lipid or carbohydrate content between infected and control mosquitoes during the 10 days post-infection, although infected mosquitoes had a lower body mass than controls. Metabolic rates were not different between groups, except during blood digestion, where the metabolic rate was lower in infected mosquitoes. These results suggest that infection by malaria does not lead to an increase in metabolic rate during the phases of midgut invasion and sporogony. However, infection does have a measurable effect on fecundity and subsequent body mass of the infected females.