Genetic Loci Affecting Resistance to Human Malaria Parasites in a West African Mosquito Vector Population

Science  04 Oct 2002:
Vol. 298, Issue 5591, pp. 213-216
DOI: 10.1126/science.1073420

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Successful propagation of the malaria parasitePlasmodium falciparum within a susceptible mosquito vector is a prerequisite for the transmission of malaria. A field-based genetic analysis of the major human malaria vector, Anopheles gambiae, has revealed natural factors that reduce the transmission of P. falciparum. Differences in P. falciparumoocyst numbers between mosquito isofemale families fed on the same infected blood indicated a large genetic component affecting resistance to the parasite, and genome-wide scanning in pedigrees of wild mosquitoes detected segregating resistance alleles. The apparently high natural frequency of resistance alleles suggests that malaria parasites (or a similar pathogen) exert a significant selective pressure on vector populations.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: kenneth.vernick{at}

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