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.
Effective targeting and evaluation of interventions that protect against adult malaria vectors requires an understanding of how gaps in personal protection arise. An improved understanding of human and mosquito behaviour, and how they overlap in time and space, is critical to estimating the impact of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and determining when and where supplemental personal protection tools are needed. Methods for weighting estimates of human exposure to biting Anopheles mosquitoes according to where people spend their time were first developed over half a century ago. However, crude indoor and outdoor biting rates are still commonly interpreted as indicative of human-vector contact patterns without any adjustment for human behaviour or the personal protection effects of ITNs.
Human malarial infection occurs after an infectious Anopheles mosquito bites. Following the initial liver‐stage infection, parasites transform into merozoites, infecting red blood cells (RBCs). Repeated RBC infection then occurs during the blood‐stage infection, while patients experience various malarial symptoms. Protective immune responses are elicited by this systemic infection, but excessive responses are sometimes harmful for hosts.
Studies of Plasmodium sporozoites and liver stages require dissection of Anopheles mosquitoes to obtain sporozoites for experiments. Sporozoites from the rodent parasite P. yoelii are routinely used to infect hepatocytes for liver stage culture, but sometimes these cultures become contaminated. Using standard microbiological techniques, a single colony type of Gram-negative rod-shaped bacteria was isolated from contaminated cultures.
Biological control against malaria and its transmission is currently a considerable challenge. Plant-associated bacteria of the genus Asaia are frequently found in nectarivorous arthropods, they thought to have a natural indirect action on the development of plasmodium in mosquitoes. However, virtually nothing is known about its natural cycle. Here, we show the role of nectar-producing plants in the hosting and dissemination of Asaia.
The oviposition behavior of mosquitoes is mediated by chemical cues. In the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae, conspecific larvae produce infochemicals that affect this behavior. Emanations from first instar larvae proved strongly attractive to gravid females, while those from fourth instars caused oviposition deterrence, suggesting that larval developmental stage affected the oviposition choice of the female mosquito.
In tropical Africa, trypanosomiasis is present in endemic areas with many other diseases including malaria. Because malaria vectors become more anthropo-zoophilic under the current insecticide pressure, they may be exposed to trypanosome parasites. By collecting mosquitoes in six study sites with distinct malaria infection prevalence and blood sample from cattle, we tried to assess the influence of malaria-trypanosomiasis co-endemicity on the vectorial capacity of Anopheles.
Determination of blood-meal hosts in blood-fed female Anopheles mosquitoes is important for evaluating vectorial capacity of vector populations and assessing effectiveness of vector control measures. Sensitive molecular methods are needed to detect traces of host blood in mosquito samples, to differentiate hosts, and to detect mixed host blood meals. This paper describes a molecular probe-based quantitative PCR for identifying blood-meal hosts in Anopheles malaria vectors from Papua New Guinea.
In 1987, Gillies and Coetzee published a pictorial key for the morphological identification of adult female mosquitoes. Since then, several new species of anopheline mosquitoes have been described.
During a blood meal, female Anopheles mosquitoes are potentially exposed to diverse microbes in addition to the malaria parasite, Plasmodium. Human and animal African trypanosomiases are frequently co-endemic with malaria in Africa. It is not known whether exposure of Anopheles to trypanosomes influences their fitness or ability to transmit Plasmodium. Using cell and molecular biology approaches, we found that Trypanosoma brucei brucei parasites survive for at least 48h after infectious blood meal in the midgut of the major malaria vector, Anopheles coluzzii before being cleared.