During their life cycles, microbes infecting mosquitoes encounter components of the mosquito anti-microbial innate immune defenses. Many of these immune responses also mediate susceptibility to malaria parasite infection. In West Africa, the primary malaria vectors are Anopheles coluzzii and A. gambiae sensu stricto, which is subdivided into the Bamako and Savanna sub-taxa. Here, we performed whole genome comparisons of the three taxa as well as genotyping of 333 putatively functional SNPs located in 58 immune signaling genes.
Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis are major malaria vectors in sub-Saharan Africa. Knowledge of how geographical factors drive the dispersal and gene flow of malaria vectors can help in combatting insecticide resistance spread and planning new vector control interventions.
Insect systemic immune responses to bacterial infections have been mainly studied using microinjections, whereby the microbe is directly injected into the hemocoel. While this methodology has been instrumental in defining immune signaling pathways and enzymatic cascades in the hemolymph, it remains unclear whether and to what extent the contribution of systemic immune defenses to host microbial resistance varies if bacteria invade the hemolymph after crossing the midgut epithelium subsequent to an oral infection.
Malaria has been one of the strongest selective pressures on our species. Many of the best-characterized cases of adaptive evolution in humans are in genes tied to malaria resistance. However, the complex evolutionary patterns at these genes are poorly captured by standard scans for non-neutral evolution. Here we present three new statistical tests for selection based on population genetic patterns that are observed more than once among key malaria resistance loci.
The Plasmodium vivax variant proteins encoded by vir genes are highly polymorphic antigens and are considered as one of key proteins of P. vivax for host immune evasion via antigenic variations. Because genetic diversity of these antigens is a critical hurdle in the development of an effective vaccine, understanding the genetic nature of the vir genes in natural population is important.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) have greatly improved access to diagnosis in endemic countries. Most RDTs detect Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2), but their sensitivity is seriously threatened by the emergence of pfhrp2-deleted parasites. RDTs detecting P. falciparum or pan-lactate dehydrogenase (Pf- or pan-LDH) provide alternatives. The objective of this study was to systematically assess the performance of malaria RDTs against well-characterized pfhrp2-deleted P. falciparum parasites.
Histidine-rich protein 2 (HRP2)-based malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are effective and widely used for the detection of wild-type Plasmodium falciparum infections. Although recent studies have reported false negative HRP2 RDT results due to pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletions in different countries, there is a paucity of data on the deletions of these genes in Tanzania.
Malaria rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) are precious tools to diagnose malaria. Most RDTs used currently are based on the detection of Plasmodium falciparum histidine-rich protein 2 (PfHRP2) in a patient’s blood. However, concern has been raised in recent years that deletion of pfhrp2 in the parasite could affect the accuracy of PfHRP2-based RDTs. In addition, genetic variation in pfhrp2 might influence the accuracy and sensitivity of RDTs. In this study, the genetic variation in pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 in Myanmar P. falciparum isolates was analysed.
The recent reference genome assembly and annotation of the Asian malaria vector Anopheles stephensi detected only one gene encoding the leucine-rich repeat immune factor APL1, while in the Anopheles gambiae and sibling Anopheles coluzzii, APL1 factors are encoded by a family of three paralogs. The phylogeny and biological function of the unique APL1 gene in An. stephensi have not yet been specifically examined.