Malaria is a devastating disease for which there is no reliable protection. It shows the highest morbidity and mortality levels of any known disease, especially in African children less than five years of age. Amongst the measures currently implemented for stopping transmission by the Anopheles mosquito is the use of pesticides and bed net. This has gained some effects and lowered the number of cases in some African countries.

The sequencing of the entire genomes of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and mosquito An. gambiae in 2002, in addition to that of humans 2001, enabled new research approaches in the fight against malaria. Recently, genetic modifications of the vector, either to prevent parasite transmission or to eradicate the mosquito have become realistic alternatives. We are investigating genes that encode proteins or peptides with properties that make them useful in these approaches.

The annotated genomes and third generation sequencing gives the opportunity to make use of both the vector An. gambiae and human host to investigate how this specialized parasite has adapted to the immune responses that it encounters in both host and vector. Our aim is to extract links between the human host and the vector in their responses against P. falciparum at transcriptional level. Novel signaling pathways can be investigated by knock down of crucial genes and subsequently follow parasite infection in vivo in the mosquito. For this work we have a fully equipped biosafety laboratory level 3 (BCL-3 / AMV P3**) and mosquito facility SUMF.

Read more about our research, here.

 

Selected publications

Emami, S.Noushin., Lindberg, Bo G., Hua, Susanna., Hill, Sharon., Mozuraitis, Raimondas., Lehmann, Philipp., Birgersson, Göran., Borg-Karlson, Anna-Karin., Ignell, Rickard., Faye, Ingrid. A key malaria metabolite modulates vector blood seeking, feeding, and susceptibility to infection. Science. 2017 Feb, DOI: 10.1126/science.aah4563

Kukutla. P., Lindberg. BG., Pei. D., Rayl. M., Yu. W., Steritz. M., Faye. I., Xu. J. Insights from the genome annotation of Elizabethkingia anophelis from the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. PLoS One. 2014 May 19;9(5)

Carter. V., Underhil.l A., Baber. I., Sylla. L., Baby. M., Larget-Thiery. I., Zettor. A., Bourgouin. C., Langel. U., Faye. I., Otvos. L., Wade. J.D., Coulibaly. M.B., Traore. SF, Tripet. F., Eggleston. P., Hurd. H. Killer bee molecules: antimicrobial peptides as effector molecules to target sporogonic stages of Plasmodium. PLoS Pathog. 2013;9(11)

Kämpfer. P., Matthews. H., Glaeser. SP., Martin. K., Lodders. N., Faye. I. Elizabethkingia anophelis sp. nov., isolated from the midgut of the mosquito Anopheles gambiae. Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2011 Nov;61(Pt 11):2670-5. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.026393-0. Epub 2010 Dec 17. Erratum in: Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2012 Apr;62(Pt 4):1016.

Lindberg. BG., Merritt. EA., Rayl. M, Liu. C., Parmryd. I., Olofsson. B., Faye. I. Immunogenic and antioxidant effects of a pathogen-associated prenyl pyrophosphate in Anopheles gambiae. PLoS One. 2013 Aug 13;8(8)

Arrighi. R.B., Faye. I. Plasmodium falciparum GPI toxin: a common foe for man and mosquito. Acta Trop. 2010 Jun;114(3):162-5.