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Effects of Mosquito Genes on Plasmodium Development

Summary: Effects of Mosquito Genes on
Plasmodium Development
Mike A. Osta,* George K. Christophides,* Fotis C. Kafatos
Malaria parasites must complete a complex developmental cycle in an
Anopheles mosquito vector before transmission to a vertebrate host. Sexual
development of the parasite in the midgut is initiated in the lumen imme-
diately after the mosquito ingests infected blood, and the resulting ooki-
netes must traverse the surrounding epithelial layer before transforming
into oocysts. The innate immune system of the mosquito is activated during
midgut invasion, but to date, no evidence has been published identifying
mosquito immune genes that affect parasite development. Here, we show
by gene silencing that an Anopheles gambiae leucine rich-repeat protein acts
as an antagonist and two C-type lectines act as protective agonists on the
development of Plasmodium ookinetes to oocysts.
Malaria parasites require mosquito vectors
for sexual development and transmission to
vertebrates. A day after an Anopheles mos-
quito ingests infected blood, Plasmodium ga-
metocytes form gametes, zygotes, and ulti-
mately an invasive stage, the ookinete. Ooki-


Source: Arnold, Jonathan - Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center & Department of Genetics, University of Georgia


Collections: Biotechnology