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.
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.