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.
Iron and copper chelation restricts Plasmodium growth in vitro and in mammalian hosts. The parasite alters metal homeostasis in red blood cells to its favor, for example metabolizing hemoglobin to hemozoin. Metal interactions with the mosquito have not, however, been studied. Here, we describe the metallomes of Anopheles albimanus and Aedes aegypti throughout their life cycle and following a blood meal. Consistent with previous reports, we found evidence of maternal iron deposition in embryos of Ae. aegypti, but less so in An. albimanus.
Immunoglobulin (Ig)A antibodies play a critical role in protection against mucosal pathogens. However, the role of serum IgA in immunity to nonmucosal pathogens, such as Plasmodium falciparum, is poorly characterized, despite being the second most abundant isotype in blood after IgG. Here, we investigated the circulating IgA response in humans to P. falciparum sporozoites that are injected into the skin by mosquitoes and migrate to the liver via the bloodstream to initiate malaria infection. We found that circulating IgA was induced in three independent sporozoite-exposed cohorts: individuals living in an endemic region in Mali, malaria-naïve individuals immunized intravenously with three large doses of irradiated sporozoites, and malaria-naïve individuals exposed to a single controlled mosquito bite infection.
Progress towards a protective vaccine against malaria remains slow. To date, only limited protection has been routinely achieved following immunisation with either whole-parasite (sporozoite) or subunit-based vaccines. One major roadblock to vaccine progress, and to pre-erythrocytic parasite biology in general, is the continued reliance on manual salivary gland dissection for sporozoite isolation from infected mosquitoes.
This study presents the diversity of mosquitoes collected from communes, endemic with malaria and dengue, located in Khanh Hoa and Binh Phuoc Provinces, Vietnam. A total of 10,288 mosquitoes were collected in the village and forested sites using standard larval dippers, cow-baited traps, ultra-violet light traps, and mechanical aspirators. Mosquito taxa were identified morphologically and species complexes/groups were further characterized molecularly.
Understanding the human malaria infectious reservoir is important for elimination initiatives. Here, we implemented mosquito membrane feeding experiments to prepare for larger studies to quantify the transmission potential and relative contribution of the human infectious reservoir.
Odour-based tools targeting gravid malaria vectors may complement existing intervention strategies. Anopheles arabiensis are attracted to, and stimulated to oviposit by, natural and synthetic odours of wild and domesticated grasses associated with mosquito breeding sites. While such synthetic odour lures may be used for vector control, these may have limited efficacy when placed in direct competition with the natural source. In this study, workflows developed for plant-feeding pests was used to design and evaluate a chimeric odour blend based on shared attractive compounds found in domesticated grass odours.