New method for researching understudied malaria-spreading mosquitoes

February 28, 2013

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute have developed a new method for studying the complex molecular workings of Anopheles albimanus, an important but less studied spreader of human malaria. An. albimanus carries Plasmodium vivax, the primary cause of malaria in humans in South America and regions outside of Africa. Unlike Anopheles gambiae, the genome of the An. albimanus mosquito has not been sequenced and since these two species are evolutionarily divergent, the genome sequence of An. gambiae cannot serve as an appropriate reference. The researcher's findings were published online in the journal Molecular & Cellular Proteomics.

"Technologies and platforms are needed to bridge the scientific gaps that could eventually spur the development of novel interventions to combat all human malarias," said study author, Rhoel Dinglasan, PhD, MPH, an assistant professor with the W. Harry Feinstone Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. "To our knowledge, no approaches have been published that address this issue."

For the study, Dinglasan and his colleagues developed a method to compare proteins of the midgut of An. albimanus and An. gambiae. The mosquito midgut is a critical stage in the lifecycle of the malaria parasite and in the transmission of malaria to people. For An. albimanus, the researchers developed a seamless, integrated transcriptomic-to-proteomic approach involving assembly of the An. albimanus midgut transcriptome followed by acquisition of the luminal midgut microvilli proteome.

Dinglasan added, "This comparative proteomic analysis of the midgut brush borders of two important malaria vectors, An. gambiae and An. albimanus, which we envision will be one of many comparative studies, will help researchers develop new mosquito-based targets for drugs, vaccines or other interventions that would theoretically work in blocking both P. falciparum and P. vivax."

Malaria sickens more than 250 million people worldwide resulting in over 800,000 deaths, mostly African children.
-end-
"A Bioinformatics Approach for Integrated Transcriptomic and Proteomic Comparative Analyses of Model and Non-sequenced Anopheline Vectors of Human Malaria Parasites" was written by Ceereena Ubaida Mohien, David R. Colquhoun, Derrick K. Mathias, John G. Gibbons, Jennifer S. Armistead, Maria C. Rodriguez, Mario Henry Rodriguez, Nathan J. Edward, Jürgen Hartler, Gerhard G. Thallinger, David R. Graham, Jesus Martinez-Barnetche, Antonis Rokas and Rhoel R. Dinglasan.

Funding for the researchers was provided by grants from the Bloomberg Family Foundation, the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health. (Grant# HHSN268201000032C).

Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Related Malaria Articles from Brightsurf:

Clocking in with malaria parasites
Discovery of a malaria parasite's internal clock could lead to new treatment strategies.

Breakthrough in malaria research
An international scientific consortium led by the cell biologists Volker Heussler from the University of Bern and Oliver Billker from the UmeƄ University in Sweden has for the first time systematically investigated the genome of the malaria parasite Plasmodium throughout its life cycle in a large-scale experiment.

Scientists close in on malaria vaccine
Scientists have taken another big step forward towards developing a vaccine that's effective against the most severe forms of malaria.

New tool in fight against malaria
Modifying a class of molecules originally developed to treat the skin disease psoriasis could lead to a new malaria drug that is effective against malaria parasites resistant to currently available drugs.

Malaria expert warns of need for malaria drug to treat severe cases in US
The US each year sees more than 1,500 cases of malaria, and currently there is limited access to an intravenously administered (IV) drug needed for the more serious cases.

Monkey malaria breakthrough offers cure for relapsing malaria
A breakthrough in monkey malaria research by two University of Otago scientists could help scientists diagnose and treat a relapsing form of human malaria.

Getting to zero malaria cases in zanzibar
New research led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs, Ifakara Health Institute and the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program suggests that a better understanding of human behavior at night -- when malaria mosquitoes are biting -- could be key to preventing lingering cases.

Widely used malaria treatment to prevent malaria in pregnant women
A global team of researchers, led by a research team at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), are calling for a review of drug-based strategies used to prevent malaria infections in pregnant women, in areas where there is widespread resistance to existing antimalarial medicines.

Protection against Malaria: A matter of balance
A balanced production of pro and anti-inflammatory cytokines at two years of age protects against clinical malaria in early childhood, according to a study led by ISGlobal, an institution supported by ''la Caixa'' Foundation.

The math of malaria
A new mathematical model for malaria shows how competition between parasite strains within a human host reduces the odds of drug resistance developing in a high-transmission setting.

Read More: Malaria News and Malaria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.