I am doing a project for the science fair in my school on mosquito-borne diseases in Panama. We want to collect mosquitoes from three different areas in the country to document what diseases they had, which place had more diseases, which species was more common, etc.

We will take a dead mosquito, document which species it is and, with a special tool, extract the blood that the mosquito had extracted from their host and put it in a small container to test for disease. We want to extract 300 samples per area of ​​the city (900 samples in total) to have the best results. The problem with this is that we can not send 900 samples to a laboratory for testing and I do not think we can collect fewer samples because the results will not be as good. One idea we had was to put the 300 samples in the same container so we only have to send 3 containers to a laboratory.

Will mixing 300 different blood samples from mosquitos in the same container affect the results, especially if there are any diseases? If this wouldn't work, what other procedure could we do to avoid having to send 900 samples to the lab?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE. This is an interesting topic, but I think it needs some clarification. When you are talking about extracting the blood from the mosquito, do mean the insect blood (hemolymph) or the blood that it sucked out of a host? $\endgroup$
    – Isaac
    Apr 11 '17 at 23:06
  • $\begingroup$ I would strongly suggest sending the samples in either eppendorf/pcr tubes (with unique barcodes/labels) or alternatively in sealed 96well pcr plates. Put the samples in sealed styrofoam boxes together with plenty of dry ice and it should be fine $\endgroup$ Apr 26 '17 at 0:55

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