Can a person get Hepatitis C from a mosquito or other insect bite?
Hepatitis C virus has not been shown to be transmitted by mosquitoes or other insects.
Can Mosquitoes Spread HCV?
One of the most frequent questions we receive is about the risk of getting hepatitis C from the bite of a mosquito. The answer is NO! There has never been a documented case of someone getting hepatitis C from a mosquito bite. But, this is a logical question since the hepatitis C virus is a member of the flavivirus family that includes many diseases such as West Nile Virus, Dengue and Yellow fever that can be transmitted by mosquitoes. So if these diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes, why isn’t Hep C transmitted in a similar fashion? The answer is that these diseases (except Hep C) are transmitted by the excretion of saliva during the mosquito bite. For example, the yellow fever virus is transmitted by a virus-carrying mosquito biting another person. The blood that contains the yellow fever virus is transported from the infected person to the mosquito. The infected blood is deposited in the mosquito’s intestines where it replicates more viruses. The additional step is that the yellow fever virus travels to the mosquito’s salivary glands where it continues to multiply. A mosquito will then bite another person and inject the yellow fever virus infected saliva into the next person.
Hepatitis C is spread by blood-to-blood contact. Although there have been studies that have found that mosquitoes (collected from households of persons living with HCV and studies that have inoculated mosquitoes with HCV-infected blood) can carry Hep C-infected blood, there is no evidence that it can be passed on to people by being bitten by a mosquito. The answer lies in the fact that hepatitis C virus is only efficiently transmitted by blood and NOT saliva.
Why Mosquitoes Don’t Spread Hepatitis?
It’s intuitive to think that when a mosquito bites someone infected and then bites another person, the second person could be exposed to viral hepatitis. Fortunately, viral hepatitis isn’t spread from mosquitoes. Let’s look at some reasons why mosquitoes bites don’t spread hepatitis:
Mosquitoes Inject Saliva, Not Blood:
Because hepatitis B and hepatitis C are spread by contact with infected blood, it’s very tempting to think of mosquitoes as flying hypodermic needles. However, the “needle” that mosquitoes feed with, called the proboscis, is actually a complex structure that has separate channels. When a mosquito bites, it injects saliva through one channel. The saliva functions as a lubricant to help the mosquito feed easier. The blood it ***** as a meal flows in a completely separate channel and only in one direction: toward the mosquito. So, it’s biologically unlikely for infected blood to be spread to another person.
From what I have read about mosquitoes and illness it normally involved diseases that being transmitted by the vector host is a required part of the virus lifecycle and replication process. Being transmitted by a insect vector such as a mosquito is not a part of the hep c virus life cycle.
Also as we have often remarked to those concerned about catching hep c from an incident with low likelihood of transmission..."if hep c could be transmitted in this way there would be a lot more cases of hep c."
Even in an incident with a health care worker experiencing an accidental needle stick involving a patient with known hep c as we know per the CDC the odds are around 1.8% of contracting hep c.
A quote from hepatitis central
"Although some say there is a theoretical risk of being infected with viral hepatitis from a mosquito bite, there are no known cases worldwide. If mosquito transmission of Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C were possible, many more millions of people would likely be affected. "
From Science Mag .org
"Many scientists strongly dispute the mosquito transmission scenario. They point out that hepatitis C infections don't have the geographical or seasonal distribution expected if mosquitoes were responsible. Some of the "unexplained" cases, they argue, may simply be due to sexual transmission or reticence about drug use. "There still remains very little to support the notion that this is spread by mosquitoes," says epidemiologist David Thomas at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine."
From the CDC
"Can a person get Hepatitis C from a mosquito or other insect bite?
Hepatitis C virus has not been shown to be transmitted by mosquitoes or other insects."
I am going with no
Good question, if the Zika virus can be transmitted this way it makes one think
different mesquite variety, different virus