Photo: Wellcome Trust Images
Photo: Wellcome Trust Images

The SUMF facility consists of two closely located areas: an insectary for work with infected mosquitoes, and a cell culture laboratory for culturing Plasmodium parasites. The short distance between these two modules allows for rapid handling of parasites prior to mosquito infection. The cell-culture and mosquito laboratories are biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) laboratories for the containment of Plasmodium falciparum. This is one of few facilities in Europe where it is possible to experimentally infect mosquito vectors with parasites.


The activities currently performed at the SUMF

• Production of Anopheles gambiae sensu lato mosquitoes. 
• Production of asexual (human) forms and sporogonic (mosquito) forms of Plasmodium falciparum 
• Infection of A. gambiae s. l. mosquitos with P. falciparum parasites
• SUMF is equipped with a Noldus wind tunnel 3D/2D system for studies of flight patterns and behavior of disease vectors and hosts.

The current activity at SUMF is carried out by Dr. Noushin Emami, Dr. Johan Ankarklev and Prof. Em. Ingrid Faye. Drs. Noushin and Ankarklev are in charge of the facility. The facility is open for use by other groups at prime costs, usually through research collaborations, and after the researchers involved have passed the necessary tests regarding competence and routines of the facility. 

SUMF is in close proximity to other facilities at MBW such as the Imaging Facility at SU (IFSU) and the SU-Experimental Core Facility for animal research (ECF), including a specialized imaging node for advanced two-photon intravital microscopy (IVMSU). The close proximity of SUMF, IFSU and ECF opens many unique experimental options to address fundamental questions related to cell biology, physiology and medicine where high-resolution imaging of cell-tissue or parasite-tissue interactions is required. The combination of these research infrastructures has great potential and will contribute to ensure that malaria research can remain at the forefront of a field of growing strategic value.

SUMF has been an important infrastructure node for several EU networks and has contributed to the FP6 network Biology and Pathology of the Malaria Parasite (BioMalPar) 2004-2008, the EU COST Action FA0701 Arthropod Symbiosis: From Fundamental Studies to Pest and Disease Management 2009-2012, and the EU FP7 Capacities-Research Infrastructure: Infrastructure for research on the implementation of genetic control of mosquitoes (INFRAVEC) 2009-2014. 

SUMF’s steering group: 

Jonathan Mwangi
Jonathan Mwangi

Dr. Johan Ankarklev (head of SUMF’s cell culture laboratory)
Dr. Noushin Emami (head of SUMF’s mosquito laboratory)
Prof. Ann Kristin Östlund Farrants (biosafety representative)
Prof. Ingrid Faye
Prof. Anna-Lena Spetz
Prof. Antonio Barragan