Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Christopher Vitek

Second Advisor

Pushpa Soti

Third Advisor

Robert Gilkerson


It is critical to understand how Aedes aegypti mosquitoes detect hosts through cues such as volatile skin compounds. In South Texas, evidence suggests that this mosquito is showing a feeding preference for canines over humans. This shift may impact the transmission of Dirofilaria immitis, canine heart worms, in local dog populations. Our study is set to explore Ae. Aegypti attraction to hosts using canine and human volatile compounds. Volatile skin compounds will be collected using a volatile collection system. Compounds will be analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. It is anticipated that the main volatile skin compounds amongst humans are nonanal, decanal, and dimethyl hexanedioate. The main volatile compounds anticipated amongst canines are decane, nonane, and 2-hexanone. A behavioral analysis examining mosquito host choice will be conducted with the human and canine volatile compounds. Results from the studies may help explain what compounds mosquitoes in this region are utilizing for attraction. In addition, data may help predict future shifts in feeding behavior or risk analysis for disease transmission.


Copyright 2023 Melissa Bernadette Rosalez. All Rights Reserved.

Included in

Entomology Commons