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The salivary glands of mosquitoes serve in sugar feeding and blood vessel location. Components have been recently identified that may function in sugar feeding and digestion and platelet anti-aggregation. These factors correlate with salivary gland structure and appear to be controlled differentially in female mosquitoes. Analysis of gene expression has led to the discovery of three novel moieties in saliva: two involved in sugar feeding and one, specific to female mosquitoes, which is probably involved in blood feeding. Studies of parasite involvement in the salivary glands and host haemostasts have shown that parasites target specific interactions and modify them to enhance transmission. Here, Anthony James and Philippe Rossignol present an overview of mosquito salivary gland morphology and function, discuss recent advances in salivary gland molecular biology that have led to the discovery of new components and describe how parasites may modify salivary function to enhance transmission,.

Original publication




Journal article


Parasitol Today

Publication Date





267 - 271