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© Research
Publication : Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society

Direct and indirect immunosuppression by a malaria parasite in its mosquito vector

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society - 01 Aug 2004

Boëte C, Paul RE, Koella JC

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 15306308

Proc. Biol. Sci. 2004 Aug;271(1548):1611-5

Malaria parasites develop as oocysts within the haemocoel of their mosquito vector during a period that is longer than the average lifespan of many of their vectors. How can they escape from the mosquito’s immune responses during their long development? Whereas older oocysts might camouflage themselves by incorporating mosquito-derived proteins into their surface capsule, younger stages are susceptible to the mosquito’s immune response and must rely on other methods of immune evasion. We show that the malaria parasite Plasmodium gallinaceum suppresses the encapsulation immune response of its mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, and in particular that the parasite uses both an indirect and a direct strategy for immunosuppression. Thus, when we fed mosquitoes with the plasma of infected chickens, the efficacy of the mosquitoes to encapsulate negatively charged Sephadex beads was considerably reduced, whether the parasite was present in the blood meal or not. In addition, zygotes that were created ex vivo and added to the blood of uninfected chickens reduced the efficacy of the encapsulation response. As dead zygotes had no effect on encapsulation, this result demonstrates active suppression of the mosquito’s immune response by malaria parasites.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15306308