A perspective on the impacts of microplastics on mosquito biology and their vectorial capacity



Jones CM, Hughes GL, Coleman S, Fellows R & Quilliam RS (2024) A perspective on the impacts of microplastics on mosquito biology and their vectorial capacity. Medical and Veterinary Entomology.

Microplastics (plastic particles <5 mm) permeate aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and constitute a hazard to animal life. Although much research has been conducted on the effects of microplastics on marine and benthic organisms, less consideration has been given to insects, especially those adapted to urban environments. Here, we provide a perspective on the potential consequences of exposure to microplastics within typical larval habitat on mosquito biology. Mosquitoes represent an ideal organism in which to explore the biological effects of microplastics on terrestrial insects, not least because of their importance as an infectious disease vector. Drawing on evidence from other organisms and knowledge of the mosquito life cycle, we summarise some of the more plausible impacts of microplastics including physiological, ecotoxicological and immunological responses. We conclude that although there remains little experimental evidence demonstrating any adverse effect on mosquito biology or pathogen transmission, significant knowledge gaps remain, and there is now a need to quantify the effects that microplastic pollution could have on such an important disease vector.

microbiome; microplastic; mosquito; vector

Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online

Medical and Veterinary Entomology

StatusIn Press
Publication date online31/03/2024
Date accepted by journal10/02/2024

People (2)


Miss Rosie Fellows

Miss Rosie Fellows

Research Assistant, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Professor Richard Quilliam

Professor Richard Quilliam

Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Projects (1)