Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) is a major cause of human malaria and is transmitted by infected Anopheles mosquitoes. The initial asymptomatic infection is characterized by parasite invasion of hepatocytes, followed by massive replication generating schizonts with blood-infective merozoites. Hepatocytes can be categorized by their zonal location and metabolic functions within a liver lobule. To understand specific host conditions that affect infectivity, we studied Pf parasite liver stage development in relation to the metabolic heterogeneity of fresh human hepatocytes.
Malaria is a top cause of mortality on the island nation of Madagascar, where many rural communities rely on subsistence agriculture and livestock production. Understanding feeding behaviours of Anopheles in this landscape is crucial for optimizing malaria control and prevention strategies. Previous studies in southeastern Madagascar have shown that Anopheles mosquitoes are more frequently captured within 50 m of livestock. However, it remains unknown whether these mosquitoes preferentially feed on livestock. Here, mosquito blood meal sources and Plasmodium sporozoite rates were determined to evaluate patterns of feeding behaviour in Anopheles spp. and malaria transmission in southeastern Madagascar.
Larval source management is recommended as a supplementary vector control measure for the prevention of malaria. Among the concerns related to larviciding is the feasibility of implementation in tropical areas with large numbers of habitats and the need for frequent application. Formulated products of spinosad that are designed to be effective for several weeks may mitigate some of these concerns.
The worldwide genus Anopheles Meigen, 1918 is the only genus containing species evolved as vectors of human and simian malaria. Morbidity and mortality caused by Plasmodium Marchiafava & Celli, 1885 is tremendous, which has made these parasites and their vectors the objects of intense research aimed at mosquito identification, malaria control and elimination. DNA tools make the identification of Anopheles species both easier and more difficult. Easier in that putative species can nearly always be separated based on DNA data; more difficult in that attaching a scientific name to a species is often problematic because morphological characters are often difficult to interpret or even see; and DNA technology might not be available and affordable. Added to this are the many species that are either not yet recognized or are similar to, or identical with, named species. The first step in solving Anopheles identification problem is to attach a morphology-based formal or informal name to a specimen. These names are hypotheses to be tested with further morphological observations and/or DNA evidence. The overarching objective is to be able to communicate about a given species under study. In South America, morphological identification which is the first step in the above process is often difficult because of lack of taxonomic expertise and/or inadequate identification keys, written for local fauna, containing the most consequential species, or obviously, do not include species described subsequent to key publication.
Morphological identification of adult females of described species of the genus Anopheles Meigen, 1818 in South America is problematic, but necessary due to their differing roles in the transmission of human malaria. The increase in the number of species complexes uncovered by molecular taxonomy challenges accurate identification using morphology. In addition, the majority of newly discovered species have not been formally described and in some cases the identities of the nominotypical species of species complexes have not been resolved. Here, we provide an up-to-date key to identify Neotropical Anopheles species using female external morphology and employing traditionally used and new characters.
Malaria-causing Plasmodium parasites traverse the mosquito midgut cells to establish infection at the basal side of the midgut. This dynamic process is a determinant of mosquito vector competence, yet the kinetics of the parasite migration is not well understood.
Plasmodium parasites manipulate the interaction between their mosquito and human hosts. Patients infected with gametocytes attract anopheline mosquitoes differentially compared to healthy individuals, an effect associated with an increased release of attractive volatile cues. This odour-driven manipulation is partly mediated by the gametocyte-specific metabolite, (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enyl pyrophosphate (HMBPP), which induces increased release of select aldehydes and terpenes from red blood cells and results in the enhanced attraction of host-seeking mosquitoes, which are vectors of malaria. This study investigates the effect of the HMBPP-induced volatiles on the attraction of wild Anopheles mosquitoes to humans under field conditions.
Plasmodium infection among children is a serious public health problem. Asymptomatic malaria infection among humans serves as a significant reservoir for transmitting Plasmodium to uninfected Anopheles mosquitoes, fueling malaria endemicity and asymptomatic malaria may progress to clinical malaria. Therefore, prompt and accurate diagnosis of malaria infection is crucial for the management and control of malaria, especially in endemic areas. This study assessed the point prevalence of asymptomatic malaria infection and evaluated the performance of malaria Rapid Diagnostic Tests (RDT), light microscopy and nested PCR (nPCR) for the diagnosis of asymptomatic malaria infection in a paediatric population in the Atwima Nwabiagya North district, Ghana.
Vector control programmes are a strategic priority in the fight against malaria. However, vector control interventions require rigorous monitoring. Entomological tools for characterizing malaria transmission drivers are limited and are difficult to establish in the field. To predict Anopheles drivers of malaria transmission, such as mosquito age, blood feeding and Plasmodium infection, we evaluated artificial neural networks (ANNs) coupled to matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry (MS) and analysed the impact on the proteome of laboratory-reared Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes.
Malaria is one of the most life-threatening vector-borne diseases globally. Recent autochthonous cases registered in several European countries have raised awareness regarding the threat of malaria reintroduction to Europe. An increasing number of imported malaria cases today occur due to international travel and migrant flows from malaria-endemic countries. The cumulative factors of the presence of competent vectors, favourable climatic conditions and evidence of increasing temperatures might lead to the re-emergence of malaria in countries where the infection was previously eliminated.