About 20 species of mosquitoes in the genus Anopheles are known vectors of Plasmodium, transmitting the parasite while taking a blood meal on humans. Among them, Anopheles gambiae is the major malaria vector in sub-Saharan Africa. Importantly, mosquitoes are not mere needles that transmit the parasites, they actively fight the parasite. In some mosquitoes, parasite development is even completely blocked early after infection, making these mosquitoes unable to transmit the disease. We aim at understanding the genetic basis of the resistance/susceptibility of mosquitoes towards Plasmodium, and we develop new tools for efficient mosquito transgenesis to investigate mosquito-parasite interactions.
Photos on the left: Parasites expressing GFP are visible on the midgut of a mosquito of the susceptible strain while mosquitoes of the resistant strain are devoid of living parasites.
Photo on the right: transgenic larvae of a strain that we call “french kiss”.
The group and its members currently benefit from funding from: INSERM, CNRS, FUTURE INVESTMENT, ERC, ANR, INFRAVEC, FONDATION POUR LA RESEARCH MÉDICALE.