Mitigating the threat of insecticide resistance in African malaria vector populations requires comprehensive information about where resistance occurs, to what degree, and how this has changed over time. Estimating these trends is complicated by the sparse, heterogeneous distribution of observations of resistance phenotypes in field populations.
The surface of insects is coated in cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs); variations in the composition of this layer affect a range of traits including adaptation to arid environments and defence against pathogens and toxins. In the African malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae quantitative and qualitative variance in CHC composition have been associated with speciation, ecological habitat and insecticide resistance.
The immunological strategies employed by insects to overcome infection vary with the type of infection and may change with experience. We investigated how a bacterial infection in the hemocoel of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, prepares the immune system to face a subsequent bacterial infection. For this, adult female mosquitoes were separated into three groups-unmanipulated, injured, or infected with Escherichia coli-and five days later all the mosquitoes were infected with a different strain of E. coli.
Only female insects transmit diseases such as malaria, dengue and Zika; therefore, control methods that bias the sex ratio of insect offspring have long been sought. Genetic elements such as sex-chromosome drives can distort sex ratios to produce unisex populations that eventually collapse, but the underlying molecular mechanisms are unknown.
Between 2011 and 2018, an estimated 134.8 million pyrethroid-treated long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) were distributed nationwide in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for malaria control. Pyrethroid resistance has developed in DRC in recent years, but the intensity of resistance and impact on LLIN efficacy was not known. Therefore, the intensity of resistance of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato (s.l.) to permethrin and deltamethrin was monitored before and after a mass distribution of LLINs in Kinshasa in December 2016, and in 6 other sites across the country in 2017 and 11 sites in 2018.
Malaria, caused by the protozoan parasite Plasmodium and transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes, represents a major threat to human health. Plasmodium’s infection cycle in the Anopheles vector is critical for transmission of the parasite between humans. The midgut-stage bottleneck of infection is largely imposed by the mosquito’s innate immune system. microRNAs (miRNAs, small noncoding RNAs that bind to target RNAs to regulate gene expression) are also involved in regulating immunity and the anti-Plasmodium defense in mosquitoes.
Blood feeding is an integral behavior of mosquitoes to acquire nutritional resources needed for reproduction. This requirement also enables mosquitoes to serve as efficient vectors to acquire and potentially transmit a multitude of mosquito-borne diseases, most notably malaria. Recent studies suggest that mosquito immunity is stimulated following a blood meal, independent of infection status.
Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) are losing efficacy against pyrethroid-resistant malaria vector populations throughout Africa. Safeguarding bed net efficacy, vital for effective malaria control, requires greater knowledge of mosquito–ITN interactions and how this impacts on the mosquito.
Heterochromatin is identified as a potential factor driving diversification of species. To understand the magnitude of heterochromatin variation within the Anopheles gambiae complex of malaria mosquitoes, we analyzed metaphase chromosomes in An. arabiensis, An. coluzzii, An. gambiae, An. merus, and An. quadriannulatus.
Larval mosquitoes are aquatic omnivorous scavengers which scrape food from submerged surfaces and collect suspended food particles with their mouth brushes. The composition of diets that have been used in insectaries varies widely though necessarily provides sufficient nutrition to allow colonies to be maintained.