Plasmodium Development

“”Mosquito pathways that facilitate Plasmodium development. While a wealth of studies have focused on the immune responses of mosquitoes to Plasmodium infections, little is known about how these parasites exploit the physiological environment of the blood-fed mosquito to develop and become transmissible, or how these unknown vector-parasite interactions may differ depending on the specific Anopheles Plasmodium combination. We are studying the physiological factors that are exploited by Plasmodium parasites (P. falciparum and P. vivax) for their own development using a variety of mosquito species in combination with both laboratory and field isolates of human malaria parasites. Our studies are highlighting strong non-competitive interactions between mosquitoes and parasites, which are largely regulated by the function of mosquito steroid hormones. Moreover, we are analyzing the effects of control tools on the vectorial competence of Anopheles mosquitoes, to determine selective pressures that may be imposed by these tools on Plasmodium parasites.