A Cas9/guide RNA-based gene drive strain, AgNosCd-1, was developed to deliver antiparasite effector molecules to the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae The drive system targets the cardinal gene ortholog producing a red-eye phenotype. Drive can achieve 98 to 100% in both sexes and full introduction was observed in small cage trials within 6 to 10 generations following a single release of gene-drive males.
Malaria, dengue, yellow fever, and the Zika and West Nile Viruses are major vector-borne diseases of humans transmitted by mosquitoes. According to the World Health Organization, over 80% of the world's population is at risk of contacting these diseases. Insecticides are critical for mosquito control and disease prevention, and insect insecticide resistance is on the increase; new alternatives with potentially different modes of action from current chemistry are needed.
Wolbachia, an endosymbiotic alpha-proteobacterium commonly found in insects, can inhibit the transmission of human pathogens by mosquitoes. Biocontrol programs are underway using Aedes aegypti mosquitoes trans-infected with a non-natural Wolbachia strain to reduce dengue virus transmission. Less is known about the impact of Wolbachia on the biology and vectorial capacity of Anopheles mosquitoes, the vectors of malaria parasites.
Mosquitoes are major vectors of many infectious pathogens or parasites. Understanding cryptic species and the speciation of disease vectors has important implications for vector management, evolution, and host-pathogen and/or host-parasite interactions. Currently, mosquito cryptic species have been reported in many studies, most of which focus on the reproductive isolation of cryptic species and mainly on Anopheles gambiae sensu lato complex.
Malaria is a protozoan infection transmitted by the bite of the infected female mosquito belonging to the genus Anopheles spp., which causes more than 445 million annual deaths worldwide. Available drugs have serious adverse effects (e.g. blurred vision, hypotension and headache) and species-dependent efficacy. An alternative to overcome these problems involve the use of molecules with affinity to the Anopheles gambiae mosquito odor receptors, minimizing the reinfection process as well as reducing the problems related to pharmacological therapy.
Chromosomal inversion polymorphisms have special importance in the Anopheles gambiae complex of malaria vector mosquitoes, due to their role in local adaptation and range expansion. The study of inversions in natural populations is reliant on polytene chromosome analysis by expert cytogeneticists, a process that is limited by the rarity of trained specialists, low throughput, and restrictive sampling requirements.
Mosquito-transmitted Plasmodium parasites cause millions of people worldwide to suffer malaria every year. Drug-resistant Plasmodium parasites and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes make malaria hard to control. Thus, the next generation of antimalarial drugs that inhibit malaria infection and transmission are needed. We screened our Global Fungal Extract Library (GFEL) and obtained a candidate that completely inhibited Plasmodium falciparum transmission to Anopheles gambiae.
Marking mosquitoes is vital for mark-release-recapture and many laboratory studies, but their small size precludes the use of methods that are available for larger animals such as unique identifier tags and radio devices. Fluorescent dust is the most commonly used method to distinguish released individuals from the wild population. Numerous colours and combinations can be used, however, dust sometimes affects longevity and behaviour so alternatives that do not have these effects would contribute substantially. Rhodamine B has previously been demonstrated to be useful for marking adult Aedes aegypti males when added to the sugar meal. Unlike dust, this also marked the seminal fluid making it possible to detect matings by marked males in the spermatheca of females. Here, marking of Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto with rhodamine B and uranine was performed to estimate their potential contribution.
Our current knowledge of the clinical burden, biology, and transmission of Plasmodium malariae is extremely scarce. To start addressing some of those questions, we experimentally infected Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes with fresh P. malariae isolates obtained from asymptomatic individuals in Lambaréné, Gabon.
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.