Uptake of plasmodium falciparum gametocytes during mosquito bloodmeal by direct and membrane feeding

Talman, A. M. et al. (2020) Uptake of plasmodium falciparum gametocytes during mosquito bloodmeal by direct and membrane feeding. Frontiers in Microbiology, 11, 246. (doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2020.00246) (PMID:32194521) (PMCID:PMC7062676)

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Plasmodium falciparum remains one of the leading causes of child mortality, and nearly half of the world’s population is at risk of contracting malaria. While pathogenesis results from replication of asexual forms in human red blood cells, it is the sexually differentiated forms, gametocytes, which are responsible for the spread of the disease. For transmission to succeed, both mature male and female gametocytes must be taken up by a female Anopheles mosquito during its blood meal for subsequent differentiation into gametes and mating inside the mosquito gut. Observed circulating numbers of gametocytes in the human host are often surprisingly low. A pre-fertilization behavior, such as skin sequestration, has been hypothesized to explain the efficiency of human-to-mosquito transmission but has not been sufficiently tested due to a lack of appropriate tools. In this study, we describe the optimization of a qPCR tool that enables the relative quantification of gametocytes within very small input samples. Such a tool allows for the quantification of gametocytes in different compartments of the host and the vector that could potentially unravel mechanisms that enable highly efficient malaria transmission. We demonstrate the use of our gametocyte quantification method in mosquito blood meals from both direct skin feeding on Plasmodium gametocyte carriers and standard membrane feeding assay. Relative gametocyte abundance was not different between mosquitoes fed through a membrane or directly on the skin suggesting that there is no systematic enrichment of gametocytes picked up in the skin.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The Wellcome Sanger Institute is funded by the Wellcome Trust (grant 206194/Z/17/Z). ML was supported by an MRC Career Development Award (G1100339).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Howick, Dr Virginia
Authors: Talman, A. M., Ouologuem, D. T. D., Love, K., Howick, V. M., Mulamba, C., Haidara, A., Dara, N., Sylla, D., Sacko, A., Coulibaly, M. M., Dao, F., Sangare, C. P. O., Djimde, A., and Lawniczak, M. K. N.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Frontiers in Microbiology
ISSN (Online):1664-302X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Microbiology 11:246
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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