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Population modification of malaria vector mosquitoes
Published on April 30, 2018 42 min
Other Talks in the Series: Gene-Drives and Active Genetics
Engineering reciprocal chromosomal translocations to control the fate of populations
- Dr. Omar Akbari
- University of California, San Diego, USA
CRISPR-based suppression drives for vector control
- Prof. Andrea Crisanti
- Imperial College London, UK
Gene drive behavior when pest populations have age, mating and spatial structure
- Prof. Fred Gould,
- Prof. Alun Lloyd
My name is Anthony James. The title of the talk is Population Modification of Malaria Vector Mosquitoes. I'm in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics and Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at the University of California Irvine.
What I'm going to be doing today is introducing the problem that we're going to be talking about, outlining some potential solutions and at the end, talk about moving ahead. So the first question we have is, what is malaria? Malaria, as an infectious disease, it's something that you patch and is caused by an intracellular protozoan parasite. The image that we have here is a blood smear of human red blood cells. For those of you taking Human Anatomy, you recognize that these cells should be empty. What we see here are little purple inclusions, which represent the malaria parasites. Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease. It's transmitted by members of the genus Anopheles. We have an image here of Anopheles. It can be female feeding on someone's arm. There's a high degree of whole specificity of a malaria parasite. We find that there are malaria parasites that will infect humans, and we find malaria parasites for example that will infect mice. Human parasites will not cause disease in mice and mice parasites will not cause disease in humans. This will be important for us later on. The other thing that's significant is there are no free living forms of the parasite. We know where they are. They're either in the mosquitoes or they're in the vertebrate hosts. In the case of human malaria parasites, of course, those are human beings.
So what should we know about malaria? Well, this image here is quite complex and indeed the title says that there is a complex lifecycle, and there are stages of development both in the mosquito which is called the sporogonic cycle and also with the human being. At this point, it's not important to memorize these various stages, but I will point out that we'll be talking about the parasite stages that are on the left side of the image here, the sporogonic cycle in the mosquito. What happens is a mosquito bites an infected human, takes up parasites, and they go through a number of developmental stages to the point where they are able then to be transmitted onto a new human host.