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Not Open Access | A Plasmodium key fits a mosquito lock

February 17, 2020 - 12:27 -- NOT Open Access
Cha SJ, Jacobs-Lorena M
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Feb 5. pii: 202000122

Malaria is one of the three most lethal infectious diseases. Unlike AIDS and tuberculosis, malaria is unique in that the parasite must complete a complex differentiation program in its mosquito vector for transmission to occur (1) (Fig. 1). Despite significant progress made in the last couple of decades, our mechanistic understanding of how the parasite develops in the mosquito is incomplete.

NOT Open Access | Mosquito heat seeking is driven by an ancestral cooling receptor

February 17, 2020 - 12:19 -- NOT Open Access
Greppi C, Laursen WJ, Budelli G, Chang EC, Daniels AM, van Giesen L, Smidler AL, Catteruccia F, Garrity PA
Science 07 Feb 2020, Vol. 367, Issue 6478, pp. 681-684

Mosquitoes transmit pathogens that kill >700,000 people annually. These insects use body heat to locate and feed on warm-blooded hosts, but the molecular basis of such behavior is unknown. Here, we identify ionotropic receptor IR21a, a receptor conserved throughout insects, as a key mediator of heat seeking in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.

Direct and indirect effects of predation and parasitism on the Anopheles gambiae mosquito

February 10, 2020 - 15:47 -- Open Access
Fedinand Ong’wen, Patrick Ogola Onyango, Tullu Bukhari
Parasites Vectors 13, 43 (2020)

A good understanding of mosquito ecology is imperative for integrated vector control of malaria. In breeding sites, Anopheles larvae are concurrently exposed to predators and parasites. However, to our knowledge, there is no study on combined effects of predators and parasites on development and survival of larvae and their carry-over effects on adult survivorship and susceptibility to further parasite infection.

Estimating spatio-temporal distributions of mosquito breeding pools in irrigated agricultural schemes: a case study at the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme

January 27, 2020 - 13:28 -- Open Access
April N. Frake, Willy Namaona, Edward D. Walker and Joseph P. Messina
Malaria Journal 2020 19:38, 22 January 2020

The association between irrigation and the proliferation of adult mosquitoes including malaria vectors is well known; however, irrigation schemes are treated as homogenous spatio-temporal units, with little consideration for how larval breeding varies across space and time. The objective of this study was to estimate the spatio-temporal distribution of pools of water facilitating breeding at the Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme (BVIS) in Malawi, Africa as a function of environmental and anthropogenic characteristics.

Metabolic balancing by miR-276 shapes the mosquito reproductive cycle and Plasmodium falciparum development

December 23, 2019 - 14:21 -- Open Access
Lampe L, Jentzsch M, Kierszniowska S, Levashina EA
Nat Commun. 2019 Dec 10; 10 (1):5634

The blood-feeding behavior of Anopheles females delivers essential nutrients for egg development and drives parasite transmission between humans. Plasmodium growth is adapted to the vector reproductive cycle, but how changes in the reproductive cycle impact parasite development remains unclear. Here, we show that the bloodmeal-induced miR-276-5p fine-tunes the expression of branched-chain amino acid transferase to terminate the reproductive cycle.

Not Open Access | The second life of Plasmodium in the mosquito host: gene regulation on the move

November 26, 2019 - 18:16 -- NOT Open Access
José L Ruiz, Elena Gómez-Díaz
Briefings in Functional Genomics, Volume 18, Issue 5, September 2019, Pages 313–357

Malaria parasites face dynamically changing environments and strong selective constraints within human and mosquito hosts. To survive such hostile and shifting conditions, Plasmodium switches transcriptional programs during development and has evolved mechanisms to adjust its phenotype through heterogeneous patterns of gene expression. In vitro studies on culture-adapted isolates have served to set the link between chromatin structure and functional gene expression.

NOT Open Access | Functional analysis of the three major PGRPLC isoforms in the midgut of the malaria mosquito Anopheles coluzzii

November 26, 2019 - 13:30 -- NOT Open Access
Rodgers FH, Cai JA, Pitaluga AN, Mengin-Lecreulx D, Gendrin M, Christophides GK
Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 21 November 2019, 103288

Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGRPs) constitute the primary means of bacterial recognition in insects. Recent work in the model organism Drosophila has revealed the mechanisms by which the complement of PGRPs refine the sensitivity of different tissues to bacterial elicitors, permitting the persistence of commensal bacteria in the gut whilst maintaining vigilance against bacterial infection.

The male mosquito contribution towards malaria transmission: Mating influences the Anopheles female midgut transcriptome and increases female susceptibility to human malaria parasites

November 18, 2019 - 16:18 -- Open Access
Farah Aida Dahalan, Thomas S. Churcher, Nikolai Windbichler, Mara K. N. Lawniczak
PLoS Pathog 15(11): e1008063

Mating causes dramatic changes in female physiology, behaviour, and immunity in many insects, inducing oogenesis, oviposition, and refractoriness to further mating. Females from the Anopheles gambiae species complex typically mate only once in their lifetime during which they receive sperm and seminal fluid proteins as well as a mating plug that contains the steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone.

Medical Condition: 

Semi-field evaluation of the cumulative effects of a “Lethal House Lure” on malaria mosquito mortality

September 10, 2019 - 15:17 -- Open Access
Antoine M. G. Barreaux, Welbeck A. Oumbouke, Innocent Zran Tia, N’guessan Brou, Alphonsine A. Koffi, Raphaël N’guessan and Matthew B. Thomas
Malaria Journal 2019 18:298, 30 August 2019

There is growing interest in the potential to modify houses to target mosquitoes with insecticides or repellents as they search for human hosts. One version of this ‘Lethal House Lure’ approach is the In2Care® EaveTube, which consists of a section of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe fitted into a closed eave, with an insert comprising electrostatic netting treated with insecticide powder placed inside the tube. Preliminary evidence suggests that when combined with screening of doors and windows, there is a reduction in entry of mosquitoes and an increase in mortality. However, the rate of overnight mortality remains unclear. The current study used a field enclosure built around experimental huts to investigate the mortality of cohorts of mosquitoes over multiple nights.

NOT Open Access | cGMP Signalling: Malarial Guanylyl Cyclase Leads the Way

September 13, 2018 - 17:27 -- NOT Open Access
Mathieu Brochet
Current Biology Volume 28, Issue 17, 10 September 2018, Pages R939-R941

When ingested by a mosquito, the malaria parasite relies on an unusual form of gliding motility to escape from the rapidly deteriorating blood meal.


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