The value of malaria eradication, the permanent reduction to zero of the worldwide incidence of malaria infection caused by human malaria parasites, would be enormous. However, the expected value of an investment in an intended, but uncertain, outcome hinges on the probability of, and time until, its fulfilment. Though the long-term benefits of global malaria eradication promise to be large, the upfront costs and uncertainty regarding feasibility and timeframe make it difficult for policymakers and researchers to forecast the return on investment.
The sensitivity to volatile carbon dioxide (CO2) produced by humans and other animals is a critical component in the host preference behaviors of the malaria vector mosquito Anopheles coluzzii. The molecular receptors responsible for the ability to sense CO2 are encoded by three putative gustatory receptor (Gr) genes (Gr22,23,24) which are expressed in a distinctive array of sensory neurons housed in maxillary palp capitate peg sensilla of An. coluzzii.
In order for Plasmodium falciparum to grow and survive in its host, membrane biogenesis, fueled by host cholesterol, is essential for these processes. Consistent with this essential role, more insights into the cholesterol pathway would enhance the current understanding of the pathophysiology of malaria infection. To explore its broader potential, we conducted a cross-sectional study and assayed for the serum levels of cholesterol, vitamin D, progesterone, testosterone, estradiol and bile acid in both P. falciparum-infected patients and apparently healthy sex-matched participants.
Plasmodium parasites manipulate the interaction between their mosquito and human hosts. Patients infected with gametocytes attract anopheline mosquitoes differentially compared to healthy individuals, an effect associated with an increased release of attractive volatile cues. This odour-driven manipulation is partly mediated by the gametocyte-specific metabolite, (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but-2-enyl pyrophosphate (HMBPP), which induces increased release of select aldehydes and terpenes from red blood cells and results in the enhanced attraction of host-seeking mosquitoes, which are vectors of malaria. This study investigates the effect of the HMBPP-induced volatiles on the attraction of wild Anopheles mosquitoes to humans under field conditions.