Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Malaria Immunity Trigger Found For Multiple Mosquito Species

Date:
March 16, 2009
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers have for the first time identified a molecular pathway that triggers an immune response in multiple mosquito species capable of stopping the development of Plasmodium falciparum-the parasite that causes malaria in humans.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have for the first time identified a molecular pathway that triggers an immune response in multiple mosquito species capable of stopping the development of Plasmodium falciparum—the parasite that causes malaria in humans.

Related Articles


By silencing the gene, caspar, the researchers were able to block the development of the malaria-causing parasite in Anopheles gambiae, A. stephensi and A. albimanus mosquitoes—three mosquito species that spread malaria in Africa, Asia and the Americas. 

According to the study, the transcription factor Rel 2 is a key molecule involved in regulating several potent anti-Plasmodium defense genes that attack the parasite in the mosquito gut. Rel 2 is activated by the immune deficiency pathway (Imd) which, in turn, is negatively regulated by the caspar gene; when caspar is silenced the Rel 2 is activated. The researchers found that silencing of the caspar gene through the manipulation of gene expression resulted in mosquitoes that successfully blocked the development of Plasmodium falciparum in the gut tissue. Silencing the gene known as cactus, which is part of another pathway called Toll, was shown to have similar effect in controlling the development of Plasmodium berghei, which causes malaria in rodents.

“When a mosquito is feeding on malaria-infected blood, the parasite will be recognized by the mosquito’s immune system through receptors that then start the immune response. In the wild, this response is believed to occur too late to mount an efficient immune defense that would kill all parasites. At least a few Plasmodia will successfully develop inside the mosquito and enable transmission of malaria,” explained George Dimopoulos, PhD, senior author of the study and associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute. “In the lab we activated this immune response in advance of infection, giving the mosquito a head start in defeating the invading parasite.”

Dimopoulos and his colleagues Lindsey Graver and Yuemei Dong also found that Rel 2 activation did not affect the survival and egg laying fitness of the modified mosquitoes.

“This came as a pleasant surprise since it essentially means that we one day could spread this trait in natural mosquito populations using genetic modification. Furthermore, by activating Rel 2, the genetically modified mosquitoes will attack the malaria parasite with several independent immune factors, and this will make it very difficult for Plasmodium to develop resistance,” said Dimopoulos. 

Malaria kills over one million people worldwide each year.

Funding was provided by National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Garver et al. Caspar Controls Resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in Diverse Anopheline Species. PLoS Pathogens, 2009; 5 (3): e1000335 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1000335

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Malaria Immunity Trigger Found For Multiple Mosquito Species." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313110744.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2009, March 16). Malaria Immunity Trigger Found For Multiple Mosquito Species. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313110744.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Malaria Immunity Trigger Found For Multiple Mosquito Species." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090313110744.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins