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Ecological drivers of genetic connectivity for African malaria vectors Anopheles gambiae and An. arabiensis

November 19, 2020 - 13:45 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Hemming-Schroeder E, Zhong D, Machani M, Nguyen H, Thong S, Kahindi S, Mbogo C, Atieli H, Githeko A, Lehmann T, Kazura JW, Yan G
Reference: 
Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 17;10(1):19946

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.

The Route of Infection Influences the Contribution of Key Immunity Genes to Antibacterial Defense in Anopheles gambiae

November 19, 2020 - 13:20 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Dekmak AS, Yang X, Zu Dohna H, Buchon N, Osta MA
Reference: 
J Innate Immun. 2020 Nov 18:1-20

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.

Three signatures of adaptive polymorphism exemplified by malaria-associated genes

November 18, 2020 - 10:58 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Tennessen JA, Duraisingh MT
Reference: 
Mol Biol Evol. 2020 Nov 13:msaa294

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.

Genetic polymorphism of vir genes of Plasmodium vivax in Myanmar

November 4, 2020 - 15:18 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Na BK, Kim TS, Lin K, Baek MC, Chung DI, Hong Y, Goo YK
Reference: 
Parasitol Int. 2020 Oct 31:102233

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.

Impact of Plasmodium falciparum gene deletions on malaria rapid diagnostic test performance

November 4, 2020 - 15:15 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Michelle L. Gatton, Alisha Chaudhry, Jane Cunningham, et al.
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:392, 4 November 2020

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.

Community-based surveys for Plasmodium falciparum pfhrp2 and pfhrp3 gene deletions in selected regions of mainland Tanzania

November 4, 2020 - 15:14 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Catherine Bakari, Sophie Jones, Deus S. Ishengoma, et al.
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:391, 4 November 2020

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.

Genetic variations in histidine-rich protein 2 and histidine-rich protein 3 of Myanmar Plasmodium falciparum isolates

November 4, 2020 - 10:02 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Hương Giang Lê, Jung-Mi Kang, Jinyoung Lee, Won Gi Yoo, Moe Kyaw Myint, Khin Lin, Tong-Soo Kim and Byoung-Kuk Na
Reference: 
Malaria Journal 2020 19:388, 2 November 2020

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.

Gene copy number and function of the APL1 immune factor changed during Anopheles evolution

January 15, 2020 - 14:52 -- Open Access
Author(s): 
Mitri C, Bischoff E, Eiglmeier K, Holm I, Dieme C, Brito-Fravallo E, Raz A, Zakeri S, Nejad MIK, Djadid ND, Vernick KD, Riehle MM
Reference: 
Parasites Vectors 13, 18 (2020)

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.

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