Mosquitoes of the family Culicidae are pests of man and animal worldwide and are well known transmitters of infectious agents of immense importance. It is only the females of mosquitos that suck blood from animals; the blood is required for egg production. The pathogens are transmitted between hosts by the feeding female mosquitoes.
Among the mosquito-borne diseases are:
- protozoal infections, like malaria
- nematode infections, e.g. Wuchereria bancrofti (elephantiasis (lymphatic filariosis)), Dirofilaria immitis (heartworm disease) and Dirofilaria repens (subcutaneous dirofilariosis)
- virus infections (e.g. Flaviviridae, like dengue fever, West-Nile fever and yellow fever; Alphaviridae, like chikungunya fever; Bunyaviridae, like Rift-Valley fever)
- bacterial infections, like tularemia