Anopheline mosquitoes are the sole vectors of malaria and rely on olfactory cues for host seeking in which ammonia derived from human sweat plays an essential role. To investigate the function of the Anopheles coluzzii ammonium transporter (AcAmt) in the mosquito olfactory system, we generated an AcAmt null mutant line using CRISPR/Cas9.
Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria, which affects one-fifth of the world population. A comprehensive understanding of mosquito behaviour is essential for the development of novel tools for vector control and surveillance. Despite abundant research on mosquito behaviour, little is known on the stimuli that drive malaria vectors during the landing phase of host-seeking.
Genotyping of polymorphic chromosomal inversions in malaria vectors such as An. coluzzii Coetzee & Wilkerson is important, both because they cause cryptic population structure that can mislead vector analysis and control and because they influence epidemiologically relevant eco-phenotypes. The conventional cytogenetic method of genotyping is an impediment because it is labor intensive, requires specialized training, and can be applied only to one gender and developmental stage. Here, we circumvent these limitations by developing a simple and rapid molecular method of genotyping inversion 2Rc in An. coluzzii that is both economical and field-friendly. This inversion is strongly implicated in temporal and spatial adaptations to climatic and ecological variation, particularly aridity.
Anopheles coluzzii and Anopheles arabiensis belong to the Anopheles gambiae complex and are among the major malaria vectors in sub-Saharan Africa. However, chromosome-level reference genome assemblies are still lacking for these medically important mosquito species.
Entomological surveillance of local malaria vector populations is an important component of vector control and resistance management. In this study, the resistance profile and its possible mechanisms was characterised in a field population of the major malaria vector Anopheles coluzzii from Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers state, in the Niger-Delta Region of Nigeria. Larvae collected in Port-Harcourt, were reared to adulthood and used for WHO bioassays. The population exhibited high resistance to permethrin, deltamethrin and DDT with mortalities of 6.7% ± 2.4, 37.5% ± 3.2 and 6.3% ± 4.1, respectively, but were fully susceptible to bendiocarb and malathion. Synergist bioassays with piperonylbutoxide (PBO) partially recovered susceptibility, with mortalities increasing to 53% ± 4, indicating probable role of CYP450s in permethrin resistance (χ2 = 29.48, P < 0.0001).
Insecticide resistance in mosquitoes is increasing amidst growing cases of global malaria, leading to high fatality in mostly Africa. To overcome the resistance as well as environmental effects of the synthetic insecticides, preliminary insecticidal and botanical potentiating effects of sub-lethal concentration (LC25) Ficus sycomorus active fraction (AFFS) and its synergistic potential with standard insecticide permethrin were evaluated against malarial vector Anopheles coluzzii (Coetzee & Wilkerson) populations. The glutathione-S-transferase (GST) inhibitory activity of the AFFS was also investigated compared to standard GST inhibitor, diethyl meleate (DEM).
The two most efficient and most recently radiated Afrotropical vectors of human malaria - Anopheles coluzzii and An. gambiae - are identified by single-locus diagnostic PCR assays based on species-specific markers in a 4 Mb region on chromosome-X centromere. Inherently, these diagnostic assays cannot detect interspecific autosomal admixture shown to be extensive at the westernmost and easternmost extremes of the species range.
Because of its importance as a malaria vector, Anopheles coluzzii's Coetzee & Wilkerson olfactory system has been studied extensively. Among this work is a series of studies comparing the expression of chemosensory genes in olfactory organs in females and/or males of these species. These have identified species- and female-biased chemosensory gene expression patterns.
Malaria parasites develop as oocysts in the mosquito for several days before they are able to infect a human host. During this time, mosquitoes take bloodmeals to replenish their nutrient and energy reserves needed for flight and reproduction. We hypothesized that these bloodmeals are critical for oocyst growth and that experimental infection protocols, typically involving a single bloodmeal at the time of infection, cause nutritional stress to the developing oocysts. Therefore, enumerating oocysts disregarding their growth and differentiation state may lead to erroneous conclusions about the efficacy of transmission blocking interventions.
Vector population control using insecticides is a key element of current strategies to prevent malaria transmission in Africa. The introduction of effective insecticides, such as the organophosphate pirimiphos-methyl, is essential to overcome the recurrent emergence of resistance driven by the highly diverse Anopheles genomes. Here, we use a population genomic approach to investigate the basis of pirimiphos-methyl resistance in the major malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae and A. coluzzii. A combination of copy number variation and a single non-synonymous substitution in the acetylcholinesterase gene, Ace1, provides the key resistance diagnostic in an A. coluzzii population from Côte d'Ivoire that we used for sequence-based association mapping, with replication in other West African populations.