Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Wolbachia bacteria reduce parasite levels and kill the mosquito that spreads malaria

Date:
May 20, 2011
Source:
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Summary:
Researchers found that artificial infection with different Wolbachia bacteria strains can significantly reduce levels of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, in the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. The investigators also determined that one of the Wolbachia strains rapidly killed the mosquito after it fed on blood. According to the researchers, Wolbachia could potentially be used as part of a strategy to control malaria if stable infections can be established in Anopheles.

Wolbachia are bacteria that infect many insects, including mosquitoes. However, Wolbachia do not naturally infect Anopheles mosquitoes, which are the type that spreads malaria to humans.

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that artificial infection with different Wolbachia strains can significantly reduce levels of the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, in the mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. The investigators also determined that one of the Wolbachia strains rapidly killed the mosquito after it fed on blood. According to the researchers, Wolbachia could potentially be used as part of a strategy to control malaria if stable infections can be established in Anopheles.

Their study is published in the May 19 edition PLoS Pathogens.

"This is the first time anyone has shown that Wolbachia infections can reduce levels of the human malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) in Anopheles mosquitoes," said Jason Rasgon, PhD, senior author of the study and associate professor with the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and the Bloomberg School's W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology.

For the study, Rasgon and his colleagues infected Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes with two different Wolbachia strains (wMelPop and wAlbB). After infection, Wolbachia disseminated widely in the mosquitoes and infected diverse tissues and organs. Wolbachia also seemed to actively manipulate the mosquito's immune system to facilitate its own replication. Both Wolbachia strains were able to significantly inhibit malaria parasite levels in the mosquito gut. Although not virulent in sugar-fed mosquitoes, the wMelPop strain killed most mosquitoes within a day after the mosquito was blood-fed.

"These experiments show that Wolbachia could be used in multiple ways to control malaria, perhaps by blocking transmission or by killing infected mosquitoes," said Rasgon.

Worldwide, malaria afflicts more than 225 million people. Each year, the disease kills nearly 800,000, many of whom are children living in Africa.

In addition to Rasgon, the authors of the study include Grant Hughes and Ping Xue of the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, and Ryuichi Koga and Takema Fukatsu of the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Tsukuba, Japan.

Funding was provided by the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


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. Grant L. Hughes, Ryuichi Koga, Ping Xue, Takema Fukatsu, Jason L. Rasgon. Wolbachia Infections Are Virulent and Inhibit the Human Malaria Parasite Plasmodium Falciparum in Anopheles Gambiae. PLoS Pathogens, 2011; 7 (5): e1002043 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002043

Cite This Page:

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Wolbachia bacteria reduce parasite levels and kill the mosquito that spreads malaria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519172915.htm>.
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. (2011, May 20). Wolbachia bacteria reduce parasite levels and kill the mosquito that spreads malaria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519172915.htm
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Wolbachia bacteria reduce parasite levels and kill the mosquito that spreads malaria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110519172915.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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