2019 AMI Online Salon

The Physiology of a Mosquito Bite

Project Details

  • Entrant Name: Ryan Kissinger
  • Membership Type: Professional Submission
  • Address: Hamilton, MT
  • Client: Dr Eric Calvo NIAID
  • Medium/software used: Pencil/Adobe Photoshop/Adobe Illustrator
  • Final presentation format: PowerPoint
  • Primary Audience: Researchers

Project Description

Often times it is a challenge in basic research to describe the abstract associations in a process because the research findings are novel and are normally not visual. In order to create a single image that concisely summarized the findings, I chose a highly rendered style to see both the vector and the micro-environment of the bite site. This image describes cellular and chemical changes at the bite site during blood feeding by the ‘Aedes aegypti’ mosquito. Depicted is the mosquito’s six-part proboscis including two parallel tubes- the hypopharynx which sends saliva down into the bite site and the labrum which sucks blood and a small amount of saliva up. Mosquito bites induce mast cell degranulation and secretion of 5HT, CysLT and ADP. Mosquito saliva contains pharmacologically active substances that prevent blood vessels from constricting, stop blood from clotting, inhibit platelet aggregation and prevent inflammation.