Malaria is caused when Plasmodium sporozoites are injected along with saliva by an anopheline mosquito into the dermis of a vertebrate host. Arthropod saliva has pleiotropic effects that can influence local host responses, pathogen transmission, and exacerbation of the disease. A mass spectrometry screen identified mosquito salivary proteins that are associated with Plasmodium sporozoites during saliva secretions. In this study, we demonstrate that one of these salivary antigens, Anopheles gambiae sporozoite-associated protein (AgSAP), interacts directly with Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium berghei sporozoites.
This work addresses the need for new chemical matter in product development for control of pest insects and vector-borne diseases. We present a barcoding strategy that enables phenotypic screens of blood-feeding insects against small molecules in microtiter plate-based arrays and apply this to discovery of novel systemic insecticides and compounds that block malaria parasite development in the mosquito vector.
Wolbachia, a maternally inherited intracellular bacterial species, can manipulate host insect reproduction by cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), which results in embryo lethality in crosses between infected males and uninfected females. CI is encoded by two prophage genes, cifA and cifB. Wolbachia, coupled with the sterile insect technique, has been used in field trials to control populations of the dengue vector Aedes albopictus, but CI-inducing strains are not known to infect the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.
Mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit are a global public health threat that affects most human populations. Mosquito abundances are strongly linked to the number of suitable larval habitats available. However, it is still not well understood how different land uses impact larval habitat quality in different parts of the world. We investigated links between land use practices and abundance of mosquito larvae in temporary ponds located in different land uses in a malaria expansion zone in Tanzania. Temporary ponds are often cited as important sources of mosquitoes but are also of substantial conservation concern being home to a unique fauna and flora. Often, they also have high socio-economic importance.
Behavioural shifts in the canonical location and timing of biting have been reported in natural populations of anopheline malaria vectors following the implementation of insecticide-based indoor vector control interventions. These modifications increase the likelihood of human-vector contact and allow mosquitoes to avoid insecticides, both conditions being favourable to residual transmission of the malarial parasites. The biting behaviour of mosquitoes follows rhythms that are under the control of biological clocks and environmental conditions, modulated by physiological states. In this work we explore modifications of spontaneous locomotor activity expressed by mosquitoes in different physiological states to highlight phenotypic variability associated to circadian control that may contribute to explain residual transmission in the field.
The epidemiology of human malaria differs considerably between and within geographic regions due, in part, to variability in mosquito species behaviours. Recently, the WHO emphasised stratifying interventions using local surveillance data to reduce malaria.
The concept of a fundamental ecological niche is central to questions of geographic distribution, population demography, species conservation, and evolutionary potential. But robust inference of genomic regions associated with evolutionary adaptation to particular environmental conditions remains difficult due to the myriad of potential confounding processes that can generate heterogeneous patterns of variation across the genome.
The threats, both real and perceived, surrounding the development of new and emerging infectious diseases of humans are of critical concern to public health and well-being. Among these risks is the potential for zoonotic transmission to humans of species of the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, that have been considered historically to infect exclusively non-human hosts.
Malaria is transmitted through the bite of Plasmodium‐infected adult female Anopheles mosquitoes. Ivermectin, an anti‐parasitic drug, acts by killing mosquitoes that are exposed to the drug while feeding on the blood of people (known as blood feeds) who have ingested the drug. This effect on mosquitoes has been demonstrated by individual randomized trials. This effect has generated interest in using ivermectin as a tool for malaria control.
Plasmodium vivax controlled-human-malaria-infection (PvCHMI) is an important tool for the evaluation of drugs, vaccines and pathologies associated with this parasite. However, there is little data on its safety due to the limited number of PvCHMIs performed to-date.