Research on mosquito-microbe interactions may lead to new tools for mosquito and mosquito-borne disease control. To date, such research has largely utilized laboratory-reared mosquitoes that typically lack the microbial diversity of wild populations. A logical progression in this area involves working under controlled settings using field-collected mosquitoes or, in most cases, their progeny. Thus, an understanding of how laboratory colonization affects the assemblage of mosquito microbiota would aid in advancing mosquito microbiome studies and their applications beyond laboratory settings.
Iron and copper chelation restricts Plasmodium growth in vitro and in mammalian hosts. The parasite alters metal homeostasis in red blood cells to its favor, for example metabolizing hemoglobin to hemozoin. Metal interactions with the mosquito have not, however, been studied. Here, we describe the metallomes of Anopheles albimanus and Aedes aegypti throughout their life cycle and following a blood meal. Consistent with previous reports, we found evidence of maternal iron deposition in embryos of Ae. aegypti, but less so in An. albimanus.
The cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) profile reflects the insects' physiological states. These include age, sex, reproductive stage, and gravidity. Environmental factors such as diet, relative humidity or exposure to insecticides also affect the CHC composition in mosquitoes. In this work, the CHC profile was analyzed in two Anopheles albimanus phenotypes with different degrees of susceptibility to Plasmodium, the susceptible-White and resistant-Brown phenotypes, in response to the two dietary regimes of mosquitoes: a carbon-rich diet (sugar) and a protein-rich diet (blood) alone or containing Plasmodium ookinetes.
In invertebrates, "immunological priming" is considered as the ability to acquire a protective (adaptive) immune response against a pathogen due to previous exposure to the same organism. To date, the mechanism by which this type of adaptive immune response originates in insects is not well understood. In the Anopheles albimanus - Plasmodium berghei model, a DNA synthesis that probably indicates an endoreplication process during priming induction has been evidenced.
The heat shock protein family 70 (Hsp70) comprises chaperone proteins that play major multiple roles in Plasmodium asexual and sexual development. In this study, we analyzed the expression of Hsp70-1 in gametocytes, gametes, zygotes, and its participation in ookinete formation and their transition into oocysts. A monoclonal antibody against recombinant Hsp70-1 revealed its presence in zygotes and micronemes of ookinetes.
Chromosome level assemblies are accumulating in various taxonomic groups including mosquitoes. However, even in the few reference-quality mosquito assemblies, a significant portion of the heterochromatic regions including telomeres remain unresolved. Here we produce a de novo assembly of the New World malaria mosquito, Anopheles albimanus by integrating Oxford Nanopore sequencing, Illumina, Hi-C and optical mapping.
Most malaria vector control programmes rely on indoor residual spraying of insecticides and insecticide-treated bed nets. This is effective against vector species that feed indoors at night and rest inside the house afterwards. In Central America, malaria vectors have different behaviours and are typically exophagic (i.e., bite outdoors), exophilic (i.e., remain outdoors after feeding), and zoophagic (i.e., as likely to feed on non-humans as humans). Thus, malaria elimination in Central America may require additional tactics. This pilot study investigated whether commercially-available products used to treat livestock for ticks could also be used to kill and/or sterilize zoophagic malaria vectors that feed on treated cattle in Belize.
Most impact prediction of malaria vector control interventions has been based on African vectors. Anopheles albimanus, the main vector in Central America and the Caribbean, has higher intrinsic mortality, is more zoophilic and less likely to rest indoors. Therefore, relative impact among interventions may be different. Prioritizing interventions, in particular for eliminating Plasmodium falciparum from Haiti, should consider local vector characteristics.
Malaria remains an important public health problem in Latin America, and the development of insecticide resistance in malaria vectors poses a major threat to malaria elimination efforts. Monitoring of insecticide susceptibility and the determination of the mechanisms involved in insecticide resistance are needed to effectively guide the deployment of appropriate vector control measures. Here, molecular assays have been developed to screen for mutations associated with insecticide resistance on the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) and acetylcholinesterase-1 (Ace-1) genes in four malaria vectors from Latin America.
Priming in invertebrates is the acquired capacity to better combat a pathogen due to a previous exposure to sub-lethal doses of the same organism.