Alvaro Molina-Cruz

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The involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in mosquito immunity against bacteria and Plasmodium was investigated in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. Strains of An. gambiae with higher systemic levels of ROS survive a bacterial challenge better, whereas reduction of ROS by dietary administration of antioxidants significantly decreases survival,(More)
Dengue virus-2 (DENV-2) RNA was quantified from the midgut and legs of individual Aedes aegypti at each of 14 days postinfectious blood meal (dpi) in a DENV-2 susceptible strain from Chetumal, Mexico. A SYBR Green I based strand-specific, quantitative real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was developed. The lower detection(More)
It has been shown that nearly a quarter of the initial predicted gene models in the Plasmodium falciparum genome contain errors. Although there have been efforts to obtain complete cDNA sequences to correct the errors, the coverage of cDNA sequences on the predicted genes is still incomplete, and many gene models for those expressed in sexual or mosquito(More)
The STAT family of transcription factors activates expression of immune system genes in vertebrates. The ancestral STAT gene (AgSTAT-A) appears to have duplicated in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, giving rise to a second intronless STAT gene (AgSTAT-B), which we show regulates AgSTAT-A expression in adult females. AgSTAT-A participates in the(More)
Functional screens based on dsRNA-mediated gene silencing identified several Anopheles gambiae genes that limit Plasmodium berghei infection. However, some of the genes identified in these screens have no effect on the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum; raising the question of whether different mosquito effector genes mediate anti-parasitic(More)
Extracellular matrices in diverse biological systems are cross-linked by dityrosine covalent bonds catalyzed by the peroxidase/oxidase system. We show that a peroxidase, secreted by the Anopheles gambiae midgut, and dual oxidase form a dityrosine network that decreases gut permeability to immune elicitors. This network protects the microbiota by preventing(More)
Plasmodium falciparum transmission by Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes is remarkably efficient, resulting in a very high prevalence of human malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa. A combination of genetic mapping, linkage group selection, and functional genomics was used to identify Pfs47 as a P. falciparum gene that allows the parasite to infect A. gambiae(More)
Plasmodium falciparum lines differ in their ability to infect mosquitoes. The Anopheles gambiae L3-5 refractory (R) line melanizes most Plasmodium species, including the Brazilian P. falciparum 7G8 line, but it is highly susceptible to some African P. falciparum strains such as 3D7, NF54, and GB4. We investigated whether these lines differ in their ability(More)
BACKGROUND OXR1 is an ancient gene, present in all eukaryotes examined so far that confers protection from oxidative stress by an unknown mechanism. The most highly conserved region of the gene is the carboxyl-terminal TLDc domain, which has been shown to be sufficient to prevent oxidative damage. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS OXR1 has a complex genomic(More)
Gene flow was examined among Anopheles albimanus populations from Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela by examining variation at four microsatellite (MS) loci and a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) marker. There was little variation among Central American populations and weak isolation by distance was only(More)