Matching Items (5)

131540-Thumbnail Image.png

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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2020-05

148139-Thumbnail Image.png

Quantifying the Evolution of Fluconazole Resistance in S. Cerevisiae Using Molecular Barcodes

Description

One of the largest problems facing modern medicine is drug resistance. Many classes of drugs can be rendered ineffective if their target is able to acquire beneficial mutations. While this

One of the largest problems facing modern medicine is drug resistance. Many classes of drugs can be rendered ineffective if their target is able to acquire beneficial mutations. While this is an excellent showcase of the power of evolution, it necessitates the development of increasingly stronger drugs to combat resistant pathogens. Not only is this strategy costly and time consuming, it is also unsustainable. To contend with this problem, many multi-drug treatment strategies are being explored. Previous studies have shown that resistance to some drug combinations is not possible, for example, resistance to a common antifungal drug, fluconazole, seems impossible in the presence of radicicol. We believe that in order to understand the viability of multi-drug strategies in combating drug resistance, we must understand the full spectrum of resistance mutations that an organism can develop, not just the most common ones. It is possible that rare mutations exist that are resistant to both drugs. Knowing the frequency of such mutations is important for making predictions about how problematic they will be when multi-drug strategies are used to treat human disease. This experiment aims to expand on previous research on the evolution of drug resistance in S. cerevisiae by using molecular barcodes to track ~100,000 evolving lineages simultaneously. The barcoded cells were evolved with serial transfers for seven weeks (200 generations) in three concentrations of the antifungal Fluconazole, three concentrations of the Hsp90 inhibitor Radicicol, and in four combinations of Fluconazole and Radicicol. Sequencing data was used to track barcode frequencies over the course of the evolution, allowing us to observe resistant lineages as they rise and quantify differences in resistance evolution across the different conditions. We were able to successfully observe over 100,000 replicates simultaneously, revealing many adaptive lineages in all conditions. Our results also show clear differences across drug concentrations and combinations, with the highest drug concentrations exhibiting distinct behaviors.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

147925-Thumbnail Image.png

Correlation between Larvicide Susceptibility and Quiescence in Aedes aegypti

Description

Mosquitoes are estimated to kill roughly 700,000 people each year through the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Vector control via insecticides is a widely used method in order to combat the

Mosquitoes are estimated to kill roughly 700,000 people each year through the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Vector control via insecticides is a widely used method in order to combat the spread of mosquito populations; however, this comes at a cost. Resistance to insecticides has the potential to increase vector-borne disease rates. Aedes aegypti is an invasive mosquito species in Arizona and is a known potential vector for a variety of infectious diseases including dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever. In contrast to many other mosquito species Ae. aegypti mosquito eggs can undergo quiescence, an active state of dormancy, over long periods of time. Variation in quiescent periods correlates to climatic rainfall alterations and can ultimately influence hatching and mating between multiple generations. I have studied the effect of quiescence on larvicide (i.e., temephos) susceptibility using mosquito eggs collected from a susceptible lab strain and stored under optimal temperature and humidity conditions. After undergoing various quiescent periods (3, 7, 14, 28, 84, and 182 days), the experimental eggs as well as 7-day quiescent control eggs were hatched and reared to 3rd instar larvae. Temephos susceptibility was tested using the WHO bioassay procedure at lethal concentration (LC) 20, LC50, LC80, diagnostic dose (twice LC99), plus an untreated control. Each concentration dose was replicated four times with 20 larvae each. The 3-day experimental group was excluded from analysis because the mortality was significantly lower than the 7-day for both the experimental and control groups. The 3 day experimental eggs displayed decreased mortality which did not align with the hypothesis, as the quiescence period elongates under optimal conditions, susceptibility to insecticides decreases, and this could have likely resulted from unintentional selection for increased fitness and faster developing eggs because the larvae that developed to 3rd instar first were those used for larvicide testing. ANOVA testing demonstrates variability in the LC80 experimental group which suggests the need for further investigation into high dose temephos concentrations. For the experimental LC20 linear regression, there were significant differences in mortality. The results indicate mortality gradually decreases when the quiescence period elongates, therefore there are significant differences in insecticide susceptibility when quiescence is 182 days (or longer), compared to when quiescence is 7 days. Further investigation into field mosquito’s genetic diversity, insecticide resistance profile, and environmental conditions should be considered.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

148071-Thumbnail Image.png

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

Description

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

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.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

157580-Thumbnail Image.png

Discovery of Novel Viruses in Arachnids

Description

Arachnids belong to the phylum Arthropoda, the largest phylum in the animal kingdom. Ticks are blood-feeding arachnids that vector numerous pathogens of significant medical and veterinary importance, while scorpions have

Arachnids belong to the phylum Arthropoda, the largest phylum in the animal kingdom. Ticks are blood-feeding arachnids that vector numerous pathogens of significant medical and veterinary importance, while scorpions have become a common concern in urban desert cities due to the high level of toxicity in their venom. To date, viruses associated with arachnids have been under sampled and understudied. Here viral metagenomics was used to explore the diversity of viruses present in ticks and scorpions. American dog ticks (Dermacentor variabilis) and blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis) were collected in Pennsylvania while one hairy scorpion (Hadrurus arizonensis) and four bark scorpions (Centruroides sculpturatus) were collected in Phoenix. Novel viral genomes described here belong to the families Polyomaviridae, Anelloviridae, Genomoviridae, and a newly proposed family, Arthropolviridae.

Polyomaviruses are non-enveloped viruses with a small, circular double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) genomes that have been identified in a variety of mammals, birds and fish and are known to cause various diseases. Arthropolviridae is a proposed family of circular, large tumor antigen encoding dsDNA viruses that have a unidirectional genome organization. Genomoviruses and anelloviruses are ssDNA viruses that have circular genomes ranging in size from 2–2.4 kb and 2.1–3.8 kb, respectively. Genomoviruses are ubiquitous in the environment, having been identified in a wide range of animal, plant and environmental samples, while anelloviruses have been associated with a plethora of animals.

Here, 16 novel viruses are reported that span four viral families. Eight novel polyomaviruses were recovered from bark scorpions, three arthropolviruses were recovered from dog ticks and one arthropolvirus from a hairy scorpion. Viruses belonging to the families Polyomaviridae and Arthropolviridae are highly divergent. This is the first more extensive study of these viruses in arachnids. Three genomoviruses were recovered from both dog and deer ticks and one anellovirus was recovered from deer ticks, which are the first records of these viruses being recovered from ticks. This work highlights the diversity of dsDNA and ssDNA viruses in the arachnid population and emphasizes the importance of performing viral surveys on these populations.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019