Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
University of California
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Vector immunity

Identifying immune genes responsible for susceptibility to Plasmodium parasites in Anopheles gambiae in Mali and Cameroon. (specific 5 years of NIH funding- PI Shirley Luckhart)

This is a five year project in Collaboration with Shirley Luckhart (Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, UC Davis – http://www.ucdc.ucdavis.edu/medmicro/staff/luckhart.htm) and Gregory Lanzaro (Director of Vector Genetic Laboratory – http://faculty.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/gclanzaro/vgl/research.html).

For details of the aims and objectives see the above URL. Any study that investigates the ecology, behavior or genome of the major African malaria vector must take their complex population structure of forms (molecular and chromosomal) into consideration. Many years of previous studies done by us and others have proven that in Mali and Cameroon significant “populational” structuring occurs in these mosquitoes. This population structuring makes it an ideal project to find and then track the genes within the genome of the forms that confers refractoriness and susceptibility to Plasmodium falciparum. This has important implications in the future where ability to introduce Plasmodium infection affecter genes to render the populations refractory to Plasmodium infection and hence block transmission becomes more likely.  These studies are ongoing and publications relevant thus far to this project are listed below.

Horton, A., Lee, Y., Coulibaly, C., Rashbrook, V., Cornel, A. J., Lanzaro, G., Luckhart, S. Identification of three single nucleotide polymoprhisms in Anopheles gambiae  immune signaling genes that are associated with natural Plasmodium falciparum infection. Malaria journal 9: 160. doi: 10.1186/1475-2875-9-160.2010.

Trout-Fyxell, R., Nieman, C. S., Fofana, A., Lee, Y., Traore, S. F., Cornel, A. J., Luckhart, S., Lanzaro. Differential Plasmodium falciparum infection of Anopheles gambiae s.s. molecular and chromosomal forms. Malaria Journal 11:133. 2012.

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