Effects of Mosquito Genes on Plasmodium Development

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Science  26 Mar 2004:
Vol. 303, Issue 5666, pp. 2030-2032
DOI: 10.1126/science.1091789

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Malaria parasites must complete a complex developmental cycle in an Anopheles mosquito vector before transmission to a vertebrate host. Sexual development of the parasite in the midgut is initiated in the lumen immediately after the mosquito ingests infected blood, and the resulting ookinetes must traverse the surrounding epithelial layer before transforming into oocysts. The innate immune system of the mosquito is activated during midgut invasion, but to date, no evidence has been published identifying mosquito immune genes that affect parasite development. Here, we show by gene silencing that an Anopheles gambiae leucine rich-repeat protein acts as an antagonist and two C-type lectines act as protective agonists on the development of Plasmodium ookinetes to oocysts.

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