Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Iowa State University researcher examines mosquito genes for new disease responses

01.10.2010
An Iowa State University researcher searched for new genes that are turned on during infection in a type of mosquito that is not only a pest, but transmits disease-causing pathogens.

Lyric Bartholomay, assistant professor of entomology, along with colleagues from around the world, infected the common southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus) with various pathogens to see which mosquito genes are activated in response to the infection.

Bartholomay is the first author on the paper, "Pathogenomics of Culex quinquefasciatus and Meta-Analysis of Infection Responses to Diverse Pathogens," to be published in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Science.

The southern house mosquito is the third of the three most important mosquito disease carriers to have its genome sequenced. The first was an African mosquito (Anopheles gambiae) that transmits malaria parasites. Malaria infects 250 to 500 million people each year and kills nearly one million people annually, mostly young children in sub-Saharan Africa. The second was a tropical mosquito (Aedes aegypti) that carries yellow and dengue fever viruses.

Culex quinquefasciatus applying its trade. Courtesy photo by James Gathan
The southern house mosquito is common to many areas of the United States and around the world. It feeds on blood from birds, livestock and humans, and transmits a wide variety of deadly and debilitating human and veterinary pathogens. In addition to transmitting the West Nile virus, the mosquito can carry the St. Louis encephalitis and the microscopic roundworm that causes lymphatic filariasis - a debilitating tropical disease that affects up to 40 million people every year.

Bartholomay participated in cataloging the infection-response genes for Aedes aegypti in a manuscript published in 2007. She was chosen to be first author of the current Science paper because she has experience describing the immune responses in the northern house mosquito (Culex pipiens).

In the research, mosquitoes were infected with viruses, worms and bacteria. The genes of the mosquitoes were monitored to see which changed during the response to infection and therefore could ward off disease.

"What we're trying to do is broaden our understanding of infection response genes beyond those that we expect to be there," said Bartholomay.

"We took a two-pronged approach to understanding infection responses," she added. "First, we scoured the genome sequence looking for those immunity genes that the mosquitoes can use to respond to an infection. Then, we looked at what genes comprise broad spectrum and specific immune responses.

"We then took it one step further and compared the infection responses in Culex quinquefasciatus to similar infections in Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae."

Bartholomay noted that the functions of many of the genes revealed in this analysis are still unknown, but as more is discovered about the functions of the genes, it could provide the first steps to controlling mosquito-borne diseases.

Bartholomay also worked with colleagues to analyze the mosquito's genome, as reported in a companion paper that will also be published in the current issue of Science.

Lyric Bartholomay | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.iastate.edu
http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2010/sep/lyricSci

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Bare bones: Making bones transparent
27.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Link Discovered between Immune System, Brain Structure and Memory
26.04.2017 | Universität Basel

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Bare bones: Making bones transparent

27.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

From volcano's slope, NASA instrument looks sky high and to the future

27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>