Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mosquitoes bred to be incapable of transmitting malaria

Date:
June 12, 2012
Source:
University of California - Irvine
Summary:
Mosquitoes bred to be unable to infect people with the malaria parasite are an attractive approach to helping curb one of the world's most pressing public health issues, according to scientists.

The Anopheles stephensi mosquito is a major vector of malaria in India and the Middle East.
Credit: Jim Gathany / Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Mosquitoes bred to be unable to infect people with the malaria parasite are an attractive approach to helping curb one of the world's most pressing public health issues, according to UC Irvine scientists.

Anthony James and colleagues from UCI and the Pasteur Institute in Paris have produced a model of the Anopheles stephensi mosquito -- a major source of malaria in India and the Middle East -- that impairs the development of the malaria parasite. These mosquitoes, in turn, cannot transmit the disease through their bites.

"Our group has made significant advances with the creation of transgenic mosquitoes," said James, a UCI Distinguished Professor of microbiology & molecular genetics and molecular biology & biochemistry. "But this is the first model of a malaria vector with a genetic modification that can potentially exist in wild populations and be transferred through generations without affecting their fitness."

More than 40 percent of the world's population lives in areas where there is a risk of contracting malaria. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 300 million to 500 million cases of malaria occur each year, and nearly 1 million people die of the disease annually -- largely infants, young children and pregnant women, most of them in Africa.

James said one advantage of his group's method is that it can be applied to the dozens of different mosquito types that harbor and transmit the Plasmodium falciparum parasite, including those in Africa. Study results appear this week in the early online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The researchers conceived their approach through mouse studies. Mice infected with the human form of malaria create antibodies that kill the parasite. James' team exploited the molecular components of this mouse immune-system response and engineered genes that could produce the same response in mosquitoes. In their model, antibodies are released in genetically modified mosquitoes that render the parasite harmless to others.

"We see a complete deletion of the infectious version of the malaria parasite," said James, a member of the National Academy of Sciences. "This blocking process within the insect that carries malaria can help significantly reduce human sickness and death."

He and his colleagues have pioneered the creation of genetically altered mosquitoes that limit the transmission of dengue fever, malaria and other vector-borne illnesses.

Alison Isaacs, Nijole Jasinskiene and Mikhail Tretiakov of UCI and Isabelle Thiery, Agnes Zettor and Catherine Bourgouin of the Pasteur Institute contributed to the study, which received support from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases -- a National Institutes of Health entity -- through grant number R37 AI029746.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Irvine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A. T. Isaacs, N. Jasinskiene, M. Tretiakov, I. Thiery, A. Zettor, C. Bourgouin, A. A. James. PNAS Plus: Transgenic Anopheles stephensi coexpressing single-chain antibodies resist Plasmodium falciparum development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1207738109

Cite This Page:

University of California - Irvine. "Mosquitoes bred to be incapable of transmitting malaria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612115949.htm>.
University of California - Irvine. (2012, June 12). Mosquitoes bred to be incapable of transmitting malaria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612115949.htm
University of California - Irvine. "Mosquitoes bred to be incapable of transmitting malaria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120612115949.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Too Few Teens Receiving HPV Vaccination, CDC Says

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is blaming doctors for the low number of children being vaccinated for HPV. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Doctor At Forefront Of Fighting Ebola Outbreak Gets Ebola

Newsy (July 24, 2014) Sheik Umar Khan has treated many of the people infected in the Ebola outbreak, and now he's become one of them. Video provided by Newsy
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