Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Malaria Immunity Trigger Found for Multiple Mosquito Species

16.03.2009
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.

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. Their findings were published March 13 in PLoS Pathogens.

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.

“Caspar controls resistance to Plasmodium falciparum in diverse Anopheline species” was written by Lindsey S. Garver, Yuemei Dong and George Dimopoulos. Funding was provided by National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute.

Media contact for Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or tmparson@jhsph.edu.

Tim Parsons | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Designer cells: artificial enzyme can activate a gene switch
22.05.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Achema 2018: New camera system monitors distillation and helps save energy

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

Matabele ants: Travelling faster with detours

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>