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Plasmodium Cost of Resistance and Life Stage Development within the Mosquito Vector

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Hundreds of thousands of people die annually from malaria; a protozoan of the genus Plasmodium is responsible for this mortality. The Plasmodium parasite undergoes several life stages within the mosquito vector, the transition between which require passage across the lumen

Hundreds of thousands of people die annually from malaria; a protozoan of the genus Plasmodium is responsible for this mortality. The Plasmodium parasite undergoes several life stages within the mosquito vector, the transition between which require passage across the lumen of the mosquito midgut. It has been observed that in about 15% of parasites that develop ookinetes in the mosquito abdomen, sporozoites never develop in the salivary glands, indicating that passage across the midgut lumen is a significant barrier in parasite development (Gamage-Mendis et al., 1993). We aim to investigate a possible correlation between passage through the midgut lumen and drug-resistance trends in Plasmodium falciparum parasites. This study contains a total of 1024 Anopheles mosquitoes: 187 Anopheles gambiae and 837 Anopheles funestus samples collected in high malaria transmission areas of Mozambique between March and June of 2016. Sanger sequencing will be used to determine the prevalence of known resistance alleles for anti-malarial drugs: chloroquine resistance transporter (pfcrt), multidrug resistance (pfmdr1) gene, dihydropteroate synthase (pfdhps) and dihydrofolate reductase (pfdhfr). We compare prevalence of resistance between abdomen and head/thorax in order to determine whether drug resistant parasites are disproportionately hindered during their passage through the midgut lumen. A statistically significant difference between resistance alleles in the two studied body sections supports the efficacy of new anti-malarial gene surveillance strategies in areas of high malaria transmission.

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2021-05

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Evaluating the Effects of Temperature on the Toxicity of Insecticides That Target Arbovirus Vectors in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area

Description

Despite its well-documented preference for much more humid climates, the yellow fever mosquito, or Aedes aegypti, has inhabited Arizona since 1951. Their presence is of great concern as they can transmit many deadly diseases, including yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika, and

Despite its well-documented preference for much more humid climates, the yellow fever mosquito, or Aedes aegypti, has inhabited Arizona since 1951. Their presence is of great concern as they can transmit many deadly diseases, including yellow fever, chikungunya, Zika, and dengue fever, putting the residents of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area at risk. Maricopa County Vector Control has made an extensive effort to reduce this risk mainly through the act of fogging insecticides during the night in areas where mosquito numbers exceed a threshold. However, given the well-known temperature-toxicity relationships in insect species, fogging at night may be less or more effective —depending on the relationship— due to the colder temperatures at these times. Additionally, insecticide resistance testing has always been performed at temperatures not usually experienced during fogging, adding to the uncertainty on how useful those test outcomes are. This study took the first steps in determining the effects of temperature on the toxicity of a commonly used insecticide, deltamethrin, on Aedes aegypti by developing a dose response curve on a lab strain at a standard lab temperature of 25°C by performing a CDC bottle bioassay. The diagnostic dose was found to be 50 μg/mL and the lethal dose, 50% (LD50, the dose required to kill half of the test mosquitoes) was found to be 9 μg/mL. Future testing would need to be completed to compare the deltamethrin dose response curve developed in this study with deltamethrin dose response curves at various different temperatures.

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2020-05

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Aedes aegypti Thermal Choice Experiment

Description

The non-native mosquito Aedes aegypti has become a common nuisance in Maricopa county. Associated with human settlement, Ae. aegypti is known to reproduce in standing water sources both indoors and outdoors, within vessels such as tires, flowerpots, and neglected swimming

The non-native mosquito Aedes aegypti has become a common nuisance in Maricopa county. Associated with human settlement, Ae. aegypti is known to reproduce in standing water sources both indoors and outdoors, within vessels such as tires, flowerpots, and neglected swimming pools (Jansen & Beebe, 2010). Ae. aegypti and the related Ae. albopictus are the primary vectors of the arboviral diseases chikungunya, Zika, yellow fever and dengue. Ae. aegypti tends to blood feed multiple times per gonotrophic cycle (cycle of feeding and egg laying) which, alongside a preference for human blood and close association with human habitation, contributes to an increased risk of Ae. aegypti borne virus transmission (Scott & Takken, 2012). Between 2010-2017, 153 travel-associated cases of dengue were reported in the whole of Arizona (Rivera et al., 2020); while there have been no documented locally transmitted cases of Aedes borne diseases in Maricopa county, there are no apparent reasons why local transmission can’t occur in the future via local Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected after feeding from travelling viremic hosts. Incidents of local dengue transmission in New York (Rivera et al., 2020) and Barcelona (European Center for Disease Control [ECDC], 2019) suggest that outbreaks of Aedes borne arbovirus’ can occur in regions more temperate than the current endemic range of Aedes borne diseases. Further, while the fact that Ae. aegypti eggs have a high mortality rate when exposed to cold temperatures limits the ability for Ae aegypti to establish stable breeding populations in temperate climates (Thomas, Obermayr, Fischer, Kreyling, & Beierkuhnlein, 2012), global increases in temperature will expand the possible ranges of Ae aegypti and Aedes borne diseases.

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2020-05