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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 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:
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