CEEPC/IPM/CMSC - Abstrakt prezentace

(CEEPC/IPM/CMSC 2022 - FrO-18)
MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry: A powerful method for blood meal identification in insect vectors

Petr Halada 1 *, Kristyna Hlavackova 2, Alexandra Chaskopoulou 3, Daniel Kavan 1, Barbora Vomackova Kykalova 2, Petr Volf 2, Vit Dvorak 2

  1. BioCeV, Institute of Microbiology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Vestec, Czech Republic
  2. Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  3. USDA – ARS, European Biological Control Laboratory, Thessaloniki, Greece


Determination of blood meal sources of hematophagous arthropods is crucial for understanding transmission cycles of vector-borne diseases in endemic areas. Most of currently used methods are nevertheless laborious and challenged by tiny volumes of rapidly degraded host blood. A promising approach towards blood meal identification was recently developed for sand flies employing MALDI-TOF MS of host-specific haemoglobin peptides generated by trypsin digestion of the engorged blood [1].
The method was first tested on lab-reared sand flies, allowing correct host identification of 100% females until 36h post blood meal (PBM) and for 80% of samples even 48h PBM and thus providing longer reliable blood source determination than other nowadays used methods. Blind study using sand flies collected during a field survey in Greece yielded unambiguous host identification for 96% of females. Moreover, the method successfully determined blood meals of engorged females collected in Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia and stored frozen in ethanol for several years prior to the analysis. The approach also works on blood meals spotted on a filter paper that represents a simple and low-cost alternative of sample storage enabling easy shipment at ambient temperatures from regions of collection to MS facilities for the analysis. Furthermore, it allows correct identification of mixed blood meals as was demonstrated on both experimentally fed and field-collected sand flies and reliable differentiation of closely related host species within the same genus.
MALDI-TOF MS was shown as an accurate method for blood meal identification with a minimal sample input. Besides sand flies, it was applied also on mosquitoes and may be universally applicable to various hematophagous arthropods.

* Korespondující autor: halada@biomed.cas.cz


  1. Hlavackova K. et al.: PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 13, e0007669 (2019).


Czech Science Foundation (15-04329S) and VectorNet, a European network for sharing data on the geographic distribution of arthropod vectors, transmitting human and animal disease agents (Contract OC/EFSA/ AHAW/2013/02-FWC1)

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