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Table 2 Advantages and disadvantages between Direct Skin Feeding Assay (DSFA) and Membrane Feeding Assay (MFA)

From: Membrane feeding of dengue patient’s blood as a substitute for direct skin feeding in studying Aedes-dengue virus interaction





• Closely resembles natural feeding

• No delay between obtaining patient blood sample and and mosquito feeding

• Prevents needle-stick injury

• Higher mosquito feeding rates

• Most diagnostic assay require venous blood

• Patient more likely to give consent

• Fewer ethical considerations/constraints

• Allows sampling from wider age-range group (including children)

• Allows using large number of mosquitoes and/or different species of mosquitoes

• Allows manipulation of  viral titre


• Patient less likely to provide consent

• Ethical approval required (difficult or impossible to obtain in some countries)

• Exclusion of children based on ethical considerations

• Potential exposure of patients to other arboviruses

• Risk of experiments being terminated during feeding due to patient’s discomfort

• Delay between sampling and mosquito feeding

• Potential exposure of phlebotomist to blood-borne pathogens (needle-stick injury)

• Need for patient to undergo needle penetration (potentially aversive in some cases)

• Low mosquito feeding rates