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.
Longitudinal monitoring of outdoor-biting malaria vector populations is becoming increasingly important in understanding the dynamics of residual malaria transmission. However, the human landing catch (HLC), the gold standard for measuring human biting rates indoors and outdoors, is costly and raises ethical concerns related to increased risk of infectious bites among collectors. Consequently, routine data on outdoor-feeding mosquito populations are usually limited because of the lack of a scalable tool with similar sensitivity to outdoor HLC.
Most malaria infections in sub-Saharan Africa are acquired indoors, thus finding effective ways of preventing mosquito house entry should reduce transmission. Since most malaria mosquitoes fly less than 1 m from the ground, we tested whether raising buildings off the ground would prevent the entry of Anopheles gambiae, the principal African malaria vector, in rural Gambia.
In sub-Saharan Africa, cooler houses would increase the coverage of insecticide-treated bednets, the primary malaria control tool. We examined whether improved ventilation, using windows screened with netting, cools houses at night and reduces malaria mosquito house entry in The Gambia. Identical houses were constructed, with badly fitting doors the only mosquito entry points.
Spatio-temporal trends in mosquito-borne diseases are driven by the locations and seasonality of larval habitat. One method of disease control is to decrease the mosquito population by modifying larval habitat, known as larval source management (LSM). In malaria control, LSM is currently considered impractical in rural areas due to perceived difficulties in identifying target areas. High resolution drone mapping is being considered as a practical solution to address this barrier. In this paper, the authors’ experiences of drone-led larval habitat identification in Malawi were used to assess the feasibility of this approach.
Malaria parasites have a complex life cycle featuring diverse developmental strategies, each uniquely adapted to navigate specific host environments. Here we use single-cell transcriptomics to illuminate gene usage across the transmission cycle of the most virulent agent of human malaria - Plasmodium falciparum. We reveal developmental trajectories associated with the colonization of the mosquito midgut and salivary glands and elucidate the transcriptional signatures of each transmissible stage.
The stalling global progress in the fight against malaria prompts the urgent need to develop new intervention strategies. Whilst engineered symbiotic bacteria have been shown to confer mosquito resistance to parasite infection, a major challenge for field implementation is to address regulatory concerns. Here, we report the identification of a Plasmodium-blocking symbiotic bacterium, Serratia ureilytica Su_YN1, isolated from the midgut of wild Anopheles sinensis in China that inhibits malaria parasites via secretion of an antimalarial lipase.
Crystalloids are malaria parasite organelles exclusive to the ookinete and young oocyst life stages that infect the mosquito.
Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte kinetics and infectivity may differ between chronic and incident infections. In the current study, we assess parasite kinetics and infectivity to mosquitoes among children (aged 5-10 years) from Burkina Faso with (a) incident infections following parasite clearance (n = 48) and (b) chronic asymptomatic infections (n = 60). In the incident infection cohort, 92% (44/48) of children develop symptoms within 35 days, compared to 23% (14/60) in the chronic cohort. All individuals with chronic infection carried gametocytes or developed them during follow-up, whereas only 35% (17/48) in the incident cohort produce gametocytes before becoming symptomatic and receiving treatment.