The isolation of the malaria parasite receptor on the mosquito salivary glands, and further assessment of its molecular nature and adhesive characteristics, will give valuable knowledge for the development of strategies to block parasite transmission by the mosquito vector. An An. gambiae adult female salivary gland cDNA expression library will be constructed. The library will then be screened selectively for the plasmodium receptor cDNA by transient expression in COS cells which will be panned (screened) with immobilized hemolymph stage sporozoites. Alternatively, the screening will be done with anti salivary gland monoclonal antibodies, selected for their ability to block parasite invasion of the glands.
The isolated clone will be molecularly characterized and its functional regions mapped, by in vitro and in vivo binding and blocking assays between parasite-receptor and parasite-salivary glands, involving recombinant nested deletions of the receptor and anti receptor antibodies. This project will apart from the knowledge on parasite invasion of mosquito salivary glands also generate a number of tools for the study of vector parasite interactions and vector biology, such as the salivary gland cDNA expression library, a battery of anti salivary gland monoclonal antibodies and standardized binding assays.