Serological Identification of Arthropod Bloodmeals and Its Application

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Boreham PF.L
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Since October 1967, Imperial College Field Station has been running a service, sponsored by the Overseas Development Administration of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to which workers from all over the world can send blood meals from arthropods for analysis in order to determine their hosts. The techniques used are founded on observations made by Nuttall at the beginning of the century which established a correlation between the antigenic relationships of animal sera and zoological classification of the species; Professor B. Weitz, working at the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, developed a technique for bloodmeal identification based on this principle and his work provided the foundation for the present studies. During 1971 over 23,000 arthropod blood meals have been analysed from a variety of species including tsetse flies, triatomid bugs, ticks, mosquitoes, sandflies and midges. Samples have been received from the five major continents of the world, mainly from scientists studying insect-transmitted diseases of man and other animals. Work has also been carried out for the World Health Organisation in connection with malaria eradication and studies on vectors of arboviruses.
Bulletin, 18 (2)