Identification of wild collected mosquito vectors of diseases using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry in Jazan Province, Saudi Arabia

Azzam M Al Ahmed, Ahmed-Yacine Badjah-Hadj-Ahmed, Zeid A Al Othman, Mohamed F Sallam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Thirty-three species of mosquitoes have been reported from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Several of these mosquitoes, Anopheles gambiae Giles s.l., Anopheles stephensi Liston, Culex pipiens Linnaeus, Culex quinquefasciatus Say, Culex tritaeniorhynchus Giles, Stegomyia aegypti (Linnaeus) and Aedimorphus vexans arabiensis (Patton) are known vectors of human and animal diseases. In this study, the cuticular hydrocarbon profiles of eight mosquito species using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry were analyzed. Wild collected fourth-instar larvae were reared, and single, newly emerged, unfed adult females were used for the analysis. A total of 146-160 peaks were detected from the cuticular extracts by gas chromatography. Repeated analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Tukey HSD Post Hoc test was used to test for quantitative differences in relative hydrocarbon quantity. In addition, a linear regression model was applied using Enter method to determine the diagnostic peaks for the eight mosquito specimens. The ANOVA test indicated that relative peaks were significant (P < 0.05) when selected pairs of peaks were compared. Also, seven compounds showed qualitative differences among the five mosquito vectors tested. The classes of constituents present were n-alkanes, monomethylalkanes, dimethylalkanes, trimethylalkanes, alkenes, branched aromatic hydrocarbons, aldehydes and esters. These compounds have a carbon chain length ranging from 8 to 18 carbons. The most abundant compound in all adult mosquito specimens was n-hexylacrylate [retention time (RT) 6.73 min], which was not detected in Cx. pipiens. In Cx. pipiens, the most abundant peak was benzaldehyde (RT 2.98 min). Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry is a suitable method to identify adult mosquitoes, especially from focal areas of public health concern such as Jazan Province, Saudi Arabia. This method allows a wide range of adult collected material to be identified with high accuracy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1170-7
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of mass spectrometry : JMS
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Alkanes/analysis
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Culicidae/chemistry
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry/methods
  • Insect Vectors/chemistry
  • Linear Models
  • Saudi Arabia


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