Considering that a mosquito can consume up to five times its body weight in blood during a single meal (Encyclopedia of the Arctic, M.Nuttal), and considering a very strong alcoholic intoxication of about 3g of ethanol /l of blood, what could be the effect on the mosquito of such a "binge blood feeding" ?

Blood with a 3g/l ethanol concentration corresponds to a a beverage with 3/789 (ethanol density) = 0.38 % of alcohol.

Brought to a human level, it is as if a 80 kg man would drink 400 kg of blood, which would have a volume of 400/1.06 (human blood density) so 377 L. Within these 377 L, 1.43 L is pure alcohol. Weight of that alcohol would be 1.13 Kg.

In mammals, blood weight represents about 1/13 of the total body weight, therefore in our example for a 80 kg man about 6.15 kg, hence 5.8 L.

So since alcohol is readily absorbed through the gastrointestinal wall, this would quite quickly lead, based on the "unfed" weight, to about 195 g of ethanol / L of blood. Ethanol lethal dose in human is commonly reported to range between 8 and 14 g / L. So with that dose you're dead about 15 times.

So I am perfectly aware that I am asking about mosquito and not humans, and that i am not taking into account several other parameters, but the demonstration was just displayed to prevent answers like "naaaaah no way dilution is way too high", so please elaborate your answers and comments and don't hesitate to provide references.

On another level those comments would be useful to clarify many animal models used on studying vector borne diseases involving the blood feeding of the vector on anesthetized animals.

  • $\begingroup$ The body weight of the mosquito is 10 gr, so it wont drink too much "alcohol" for the 50 gr of blood that it drinks. $\endgroup$ – The_Mad_Fish Sep 17 '15 at 20:23

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