Do mosquitoes carry the novel coronavirus and can they transmit Covid-19 to humans? Maybe not. In a new study, the researchers have confirmed that Covid-19 virus cannot be transmitted to people by mosquitoes.
The findings, published in the journal Scientific Reports, provide the first experimental investigation on the capacity of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 disease, to infect and be transmitted by mosquitoes.
"While the World Health Organisation (WHO) has definitively stated that mosquitoes cannot transmit the virus, our study is the first to provide conclusive data supporting the theory," said study researcher Stephen Higgs from Kansas State University in the US.
For the results, three widely distributed species of mosquito — Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus — representing the two most significant genera of arbovirus vectors that infect people, were tested.
Also, all three of the species are present in China, the country of origin of the novel coronavirus.
The study found that the virus is unable to replicate in three common and widely distributed species of mosquitoes and therefore cannot be transmitted to humans.
"We have demonstrated that even under extreme conditions, SARS-CoV-2 virus is unable to replicate in these mosquitoes and therefore cannot be transmitted to people even in the unlikely event that a mosquito fed upon a viremic host," the study authors wrote.
"I am proud of the work we are doing at the university to learn as much as we can about this and other dangerous pathogens," said Higgs.
Research has been ongoing with other animal pathogens that can be transmitted from animals to people, including Rift Valley fever, Japanese encephalitis, African swine fever and classical swine fever.
"We have remarkable talent and capabilities working within our research and training facility at the university's Biosecurity Research Institute (BRI)," said study researcher Peter Dorhout.