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Population age structure and age structure modification via Wolbachia in Anopheles gambiae

Objective

One of the most critical factors contributing to the vectorial capacity of malaria vector mosquitoes is the mean age attained by adult females, because after picking up the Plasmodium parasite there is a lengthy incubation period before transmission can occur. A virulent strain of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia called wMelPop reduces adult lifespan in its native Drosophila host, and has recently been shown to do the same following transfer into Aedes mosquitoes. We will examine its potential as a novel malaria control tool by creating and characterizing Anopheles cell lines containing wMelPop, and purifying and transferring it into An. gambiae by microinjection. We will then characterize the cytoplasmic incompatibility phenotype by which Wolbachia spreads itself, virulence (lifespan shortening effects), maternal transmission rates, and tissue distribution of introduced Wolbachia, together with analyses of mosquito gene expression using microarrays. Development of a molecular age estimation assay for the An. gambiae complex will be undertaken by adapting a new quantitative RT-PCR method for use in An. gambiae. We will then set up a greenhouse population of a member of the An. gambiae complex in Kenya that is viable over multiple generations, release marked mosquitoes to calibrate the molecular age estimation assays under semi-field conditions, and compare age structure between greenhouse and wild populations. In Burkina Faso we will estimate population age structure in the An. gambiae complex at 3 field sites, in different seasons and with / without insecticide treated net use. Liaison will take place with government institutions and local communities on regulatory issues and desirability of future Wolbachia-based trials in both countries. We will also build a suite of mathematical models to allow the analysis of different interventions that affect adult mosquito longevity, and incorporate the dynamics of Wolbachia spread in an age-structured population.

Field of science

  • /natural sciences/mathematics/applied mathematics/mathematical model
  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/infectious disease/malaria

Call for proposal

FP7-HEALTH-2007-B
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Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Address
Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 540 203,84
Administrative Contact
Stephen Conway (Prof.)

Participants (5)

ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS
Greece
EU contribution
€ 165 600
Address
Kedea Building, Tritis Septemvriou, Aristotle Univ Campus
54636 Thessaloniki
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Christina Besta (Ms.)
CENTRE NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE ET TECHNOLOGIQUE*INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES DE LA SANTE
Burkina Faso
EU contribution
€ 183 512
Address
B P 7047
03 Ouagadougou
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Levy Kaboré (Mr.)
INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT
France
EU contribution
€ 52 756
Address
Boulevard De Dunkerque 44 Cs 90009
13572 Marseille
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Ariel Crozon (Ms.)
THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND
Australia
Address
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Nicole Thompson (Ms.)
THE INTERNATIONAL CENTRE OF INSECT PHYSIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY LBG

Participation ended

Kenya
EU contribution
€ 57 928,16
Address
Off Thika Road Duduville Campus
0100 Nairobi
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Roger Finan (Mr.)