(1/1919) Can anything be done to maintain the effectiveness of pyrethroid-impregnated bednets against malaria vectors?

Pyrethroid-treated bednets are the most promising available method of controlling malaria in the tropical world. Every effort should be made to find methods of responding to, or preventing, the emergence of pyrethroid resistance in the Anopheles vectors. Some cases of such resistance are known, notably in An. gambiae in West Africa where the kdr type of resistance has been selected, probably because of the use of pyrethroids on cotton. Because pyrethroids are irritant to mosquitoes, laboratory studies on the impact of, and selection for, resistance need to be conducted with free-flying mosquitoes in conditions that are as realistic as possible. Such studies are beginning to suggest that, although there is cross-resistance to all pyrethroids, some treatments are less likely to select for resistance than others are. Organophosphate, carbamate and phenyl pyrazole insecticides have been tested as alternative treatments for nets or curtains. Attempts have been made to mix an insect growth regulator and a pyrethroid on netting to sterilize pyrethroid-resistant mosquitoes that are not killed after contact with the netting. There seems to be no easy solution to the problem of pyrethroid resistance management, but further research is urgently needed.  (+info)

(2/1919) Anopheles gambiae Ag-STAT, a new insect member of the STAT family, is activated in response to bacterial infection.

A new insect member of the STAT family of transcription factors (Ag-STAT) has been cloned from the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. The domain involved in DNA interaction and the SH2 domain are well conserved. Ag-STAT is most similar to Drosophila D-STAT and to vertebrate STATs 5 and 6, constituting a proposed ancient class A of the STAT family. The mRNA is expressed at all developmental stages, and the protein is present in hemocytes, pericardial cells, midgut, skeletal muscle and fat body cells. There is no evidence of transcriptional activation following bacterial challenge. However, bacterial challenge results in nuclear translocation of Ag-STAT protein in fat body cells and induction of DNA-binding activity that recognizes a STAT target site. In vitro treatment with pervanadate (vanadate and H2O2) translocates Ag-STAT to the nucleus in midgut epithelial cells. This is the first evidence of direct participation of the STAT pathway in immune responses in insects.  (+info)

(3/1919) Purification and cloning of the salivary peroxidase/catechol oxidase of the mosquito Anopheles albimanus.

Salivary homogenates of the adult female mosquito Anopheles albimanus have been shown previously to contain a vasodilatory activity associated with a catechol oxidase/peroxidase activity. We have now purified the salivary peroxidase using high-performance liquid chromatography. The pure enzyme is able to relax rabbit aortic rings pre-constricted with norepinephrine. The peroxidase has a relative molecular mass of 66 907 as estimated by mass spectrometry. Amino-terminal sequencing allowed us to design oligonucleotide probes for isolation of cDNA clones derived from the salivary gland mRNA from female mosquitoes. The full sequence of the cDNA demonstrated homology between A. albimanus salivary peroxidase and several members of the myeloperoxidase gene family. A close comparison of A. albimanus salivary peroxidase with canine myeloperoxidase, for which the crystal structure is known, showed that all six disulfide bridges were conserved and demonstrated identity for all five residues associated with a Ca2+-binding site. In addition, 16 of 26 residues shown to be in close proximity to the heme moiety in the canine myeloperoxidase were identical. We conclude that the salivary peroxidase of A. albimanus belongs to the myeloperoxidase gene family. Other possible functions for this molecule in blood feeding are discussed.  (+info)

(4/1919) Can vector control play a useful supplementary role against bancroftian filariasis?

A single campaign of mass treatment for bancroftian filariasis with diethylcarbamazine (DEC) in Makunduchi, a town in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania, combined with elimination of mosquito breeding in pit latrines with polystyrene beads was followed by a progressive decline over a 5-year period in the microfilarial rate from 49% to 3%. Evidence that vector control had contributed to this long-term decline was obtained by comparison with another town, Moga, where a DEC campaign was used without vector control and where resurgence of microfilariae could be observed 3-6 years after the campaign. In Zanzibar town, treatment of 3844 wet pit latrines and cesspits with polystyrene beads reduced the adult mosquito population in houses by about 65%. Supplementary treatment of open drains and marshes with Bacillus sphaericus produced little or no additional reduction compared to a sector of the town where only pit treatment with polystyrene was carried out. The cost and effort of achieving the 65% reduction in mosquito population could hardly be justified for its impact on filariasis alone, but its noticeable impact on biting nuisance might help to gain community support for an integrated programme.  (+info)

(5/1919) Bancroftian filariasis in an irrigation project community in southern Ghana.

An epidemiological study to document the endemicity and transmission characteristics of bancroftian filariasis was conducted in an irrigation project community in southern Ghana. In a 50% random sample of the population, the prevalence of microfilaraemia was 26.4% and the geometric mean microfilarial intensity among positives was 819 microfilariae/ml of blood. Hydrocoele was found in 13.8% of the males aged > or =18 years, and 1.4% of the residents examined, all females, had tymphoedema/elephantiasis. Detailed monitoring of the microfilarial intensity in 8 individuals over a 24-h period confirmed its nocturnal periodicity with a peak at approximately 0100 hours. The most important vector was Anopheles gambiae s.l., followed by An. funestus. The abundance of these mosquitoes and their relative importance as vectors varied considerably between the wet and the dry season. Opening of the irrigation canals late in the dry season resulted in a remarkable increase in the population of An. gambiae (8.3% of which carried infective filarial larvae) to levels comparable to those seen during the wet season, suggesting that the irrigation project is responsible for increased transmission of lymphatic filariasis in the community.  (+info)

(6/1919) Host haematological factors influencing the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes to Anopheles gambiae s.s. mosquitoes.

We investigated the relationship between selected host haematological and parasitological parameters and the density and infectivity of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes. 143 individuals (age range 1-62 years) attending an outpatient clinic in Farafenni, The Gambia, who had peripheral blood gametocytaemia were recruited (mean gametocyte density 123.7/microl, range 5-17,000/microl). Of the parameters measured, packed cell volume (PCV), reticulocyte count (RetC) and lymphocyte count (LyC) were significantly associated with gametocyte density (r = - 0.17, P < 0.05; r = 0.21, P < 0.01; r = 0.18, P < 0.05, respectively). Data from membrane feeding experiments in which 15 or more mosquitoes were dissected showed that 60.7% (53/87) of gametocyte carriers infected one or more mosquitoes. Gametocyte density was strongly correlated with transmission success (TS) (r = 0.3, P < 0.005) and, in successful infections, with both mosquito prevalence (MP) (r = 0.36, P < 0.005) and mean oocyst burden (MOB) (r = 0.65, P < 0.0001). None of the other factors measured were significantly associated with any of these indices in bivariate analysis. Regression modelling showed that both gametocyte density and PCV were positively associated with gametocyte carrier infectivity to mosquitoes (LRchi2 = 100.7 and 47.2, respectively) and, in successful infections, with MOB (beta = 0.16, t = 4.9, P < 0.001; beta = 0.02, t = 2.3, P < 0.05, respectively). The positive association with PCV suggests that blood meal quality influences infection probably as a nutritional requirement, however, as this effect was most apparent at high gametocyte densities, its epidemiological significance is questionable. Though the haematological parameters associated with gametocyte density are a direct consequence of asexual infection, they may also represent an adaptive mechanism for optimization of sexual stage development.  (+info)

(7/1919) Control of malaria vectors: cost analysis in a province of northern Vietnam.

The cost of permethrin-treated bednets (50% EC; 0.2 g/m2, 2 rounds per year) was compared to the cost of residual spraying with lambdacyhalothrin 10% WP (0.03 g/m2, once yearly) in Hoa Binh, a mountainous province in northern Vietnam. Calculations of the amounts of insecticides needed were based on national guidelines, on data from a cross-sectional survey and on district activity reports. The actual cost of insecticide required per person per year was lower for impregnation (US$ 0.26) than for spraying (US$ 0.36), but the difference was smaller than expected. The total cost for impregnated bednets per person per year amounted to US$ 0.90 compared to USS 0.47 for spraying. The determining factor was the cost of the net, amounting to US$ 0.58 per person per year, assuming a 5-year life of the net. Other material (excluding nets), labour and transport combined, accounted for only 17% of the impregnation cost and 23% of spraying expenses. However, for the National Malaria Control Programme of Vietnam, the cost per person per year for impregnated bednets amounted to US$ 0.32 only, because the vast majority of nets are bought by the population. For spraying, the programme had to bear the entire cost.  (+info)

(8/1919) A hemocyte-like cell line established from the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae expresses six prophenoloxidase genes.

Cell lines from the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae have been established as a tool for the study of the mosquito innate immune system in vitro. Here, we describe the first continuous insect cell line that produces prophenoloxidase (PPO). This cell line (4a-3B) expresses constitutively six PPO genes, three of which are novel (PPO4, PPO5, and PPO6). The PPO genes show distinct temporal expression profiles in the intact mosquito, spanning stages from the embryo to the adult in an overlapping manner. Transient induction of larva-specific PPO genes in blood-fed adult females suggests that the developmental hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone may be involved in PPO gene regulation. Indeed, exposure of 4a-3B cells to 20-hydroxyecdysone in culture results in induction of those PPO genes that are mainly expressed in early developmental stages, and repression of PPO5, which is preferentially expressed at the adult stage. The cell line shows bacteria-induced immune transcripts that encode defensin and Gram-negative bacteria-binding protein, but no induction of PPO transcripts. This cell line most likely derives from a hemocyte lineage, and represents an appropriate in vitro model for the study of the humoral and cellular immune defenses of A. gambiae.  (+info)