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

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.

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)

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ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS

Greece

EU Contribution

€ 165 600

CENTRE NATIONAL DE RECHERCHE SCIENTIFIQUE ET TECHNOLOGIQUE*INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE EN SCIENCES DE LA SANTE

Burkina Faso

EU Contribution

€ 183 512

INSTITUT DE RECHERCHE POUR LE DEVELOPPEMENT

France

EU Contribution

€ 52 756

THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND

Australia

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE OF INSECT PHYSIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY LBG

Kenya

EU Contribution

€ 57 928,16

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 223241

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 February 2009

  • End date

    31 July 2012

Funded under:

FP7-HEALTH

  • Overall budget:

    € 1 355 286,56

  • EU contribution

    € 1 000 000

Coordinated by:

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom

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