Recent data show that parasites manipulate the physiology of mosquitoes and human hosts to increase the probability of transmission. Here, we investigate phagostimulant activity of Plasmodium-metabolite, (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enyl pyrophosphate (HMBPP), in the primary vectors of multiple human diseases, Anopheles coluzzii, An. arabiensis, An. gambiae s.s., Aedes aegypti, and Culex pipiens/Culex torrentium complex species. The addition of 10 µM HMBPP to blood meals significantly increased feeding in all the species investigated.
There has been a consistent rise in malaria cases in the last few years. The existing malaria control measures are challenged by insecticide resistance in the mosquito vector, drug résistance in parasite populations, and asymptomatic malaria (ASM) in healthy individuals. The absence of apparent malaria symptoms and the presence of low parasitemia makes ASM a hidden reservoir for malaria transmission and an impediment in malaria elimination efforts.
An epitope, Galα1-3Galβ1-4GlcNAc-R, termed α-gal, is present in glycoconjugates of New World monkeys (platyrrhines) and other mammals but not in hominoids and Old World monkeys (catarrhines). The difference is due to the inactivation of α1-3 galactosyl transferase (α1-3 GT) genes in catarrhines. Natural antibodies to α-gal are therefore developed in catarrhines but not platyrrhines and other mammals. Hypersensitivity reactions are commonly elicited by mosquito and tick vector bites. IgE antibodies against α-gal cause food allergy to red meat in persons who have been exposed to tick bites. Three enzymes synthesising the terminal α1-3-linked galactose in α-gal, that are homologous to mammalian α and β1-4 GTs but not mammalian α1-3 GTs, were recently identified in the tick vector Ixodes scapularis. IgG and IgM antibodies to α-gal are reported to protect against malaria because mosquito-derived sporozoites of malaria parasites express α-gal on their surface. This article explores the possibility that the α-gal in sporozoites are acquired from glycoconjugates synthesised by mosquitoes rather than through de novo synthesis by sporozoites.
The malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum is one of the most widespread species of avian malaria. As is the case in its human counterparts, bird Plasmodium undergoes a complex life cycle infecting two hosts: the arthropod vector and the vertebrate host. In this study, we examined transcriptomes of P. relictum (SGS1) during crucial timepoints within its vector, Culex pipiens quinquefasciatus.
Despite its epidemiological importance, the time Plasmodium parasites take to achieve development in the vector mosquito (the extrinsic incubation period, EIP) remains poorly characterized. A novel non-destructive assay designed to estimate EIP in single mosquitoes, and more broadly to study Plasmodium-Anopheles vectors interactions, is presented.
The potential of RS as a surveillance tool for malaria and arbovirus vectors and MIRS for the diagnosis and surveillance of arboviruses is yet to be assessed. NIRS capacity as a surveillance tool for malaria and arbovirus vectors should be validated under field conditions, and its potential as a diagnostic tool for malaria and arboviruses needs to be evaluated.
Malaria transmission-blocking vaccines (TBVs) prevent the completion of the developmental lifecycle of malarial parasites within the mosquito vector, effectively blocking subsequent infections. The mosquito midgut protein Anopheline alanyl aminopeptidase N (AnAPN1) is the leading, mosquito-based TBV antigen. Structure-function studies identified two Class II epitopes that can induce potent transmission-blocking (T-B) antibodies, informing the design of the next-generation AnAPN1.
Inter-relationships among mosquito vectors, Plasmodium parasites, human ecology, and biotic and abiotic factors, drive malaria risk. Specifically, rural landscapes shaped by human activities have a great potential to increase the abundance of malaria vectors, putting many vulnerable people at risk. Understanding at which point the abundance of vectors increases in the landscape can help to design policies and interventions for effective and sustainable control. Using a dataset of adult female mosquitoes collected at 79 sites in malaria endemic areas in the Brazilian Amazon, this study aimed to (1) verify the association among forest cover percentage (PLAND), forest edge density (ED), and variation in mosquito diversity; and to (2) test the hypothesis of an association between landscape structure (i.e., PLAND and ED) and Nyssorhynchus darlingi (Root) dominance.
Avian blood parasites have been shown to have significant health effects on avifauna worldwide. Sri Lanka, a tropical island rich with resident and migratory birds, has not been properly evaluated for avian blood parasites or their vectors. We investigated the presence of avian haemoparasites in Sri Lankan birds and the potential mosquito vectors of those pathogens. Blood samples were collected from local/migratory birds captured by standard mist nets from Anawilundawa bird sanctuary, Hanthana mountain range, and the University of Peradeniya park. Mosquitoes were collected from Halgolla forest reserve and the forest patches in Kurunegala and Gampola areas in addition to the above mist-netting localities.
After being ingested by a female Anopheles mosquito during a bloodmeal on an infected host, and before they can reach the mosquito salivary glands to be transmitted to a new host, Plasmodium parasites must establish an infection of the mosquito midgut in the form of oocysts. To achieve this, they must first survive a series of robust innate immune responses that take place prior to, during, and immediately after ookinete traversal of the midgut epithelium. Understanding how parasites may evade these responses could highlight new ways to block malaria transmission.