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BACKGROUND In the model system Drosophila melanogaster, doublesex (dsx) is the double-switch gene at the bottom of the somatic sex determination cascade that determines the differentiation of sexually dimorphic traits. Homologues of dsx are functionally conserved in various dipteran species, including the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. They show a(More)
BACKGROUND Saliva of blood-sucking arthropods contains a cocktail of antihemostatic agents and immunomodulators that help blood feeding. Mosquitoes additionally feed on sugar meals and have specialized regions of their glands containing glycosidases and antimicrobials that might help control bacterial growth in the ingested meals. To expand our knowledge on(More)
Salivary proteins injected by blood feeding arthropods into their hosts evoke a saliva-specific humoral response which can be useful to evaluate exposure to bites of disease vectors. However, saliva of hematophagous arthropods is a complex cocktail of bioactive factors and its use in immunoassays can be misleading because of potential cross-reactivity to(More)
BACKGROUND Genetic transformation of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae has been successfully achieved in recent years, and represents a potentially powerful tool for researchers. Tissue-, stage- and sex-specific promoters are essential requirements to support the development of new applications for the transformation technique and potential malaria(More)
Reverse genetics in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae by RNAi mediated gene silencing has led in recent years to an advanced understanding of the mosquito immune response against infections with bacteria and malaria parasites. We developed RNAi screens in An. gambiae hemocyte-like cells using a library of double-stranded RNAs targeting 109 genes expressed(More)
Mosquito saliva plays crucial roles in blood feeding but also evokes in hosts an anti-saliva antibody response. The IgG response to the Anopheles gambiae salivary protein gSG6 was previously shown to be a reliable indicator of human exposure to Afrotropical malaria vectors. We analyzed here the humoral response to the salivary anti-thrombin cE5 in a group(More)
Hematophagy arose independently multiple times during metazoan evolution, with several lineages of vampire animals particularly diversified in invertebrates. However, the biochemistry of hematophagy has been studied in a few species of direct medical interest and is still underdeveloped in most invertebrates, as in general is the study of venom toxins. In(More)
Human antibody response to the Anopheles gambiae salivary protein gSG6 has recently emerged as a potentially useful tool for malaria epidemiological studies and for the evaluation of vector control interventions. However, the current understanding of the host immune response to mosquito salivary proteins and of the possible crosstalk with early response to(More)
BACKGROUND Mosquito saliva is a complex cocktail whose pharmacological properties play an essential role in blood feeding by counteracting host physiological response to tissue injury. Moreover, vector borne pathogens are transmitted to vertebrates and exposed to their immune system in the context of mosquito saliva which, in virtue of its immunomodulatory(More)
Insect haemocytes mediate cellular immune responses (e.g., phagocytosis) and contribute to the synthesis of humoral immune factors. In previous work, a genome-wide molecular characterization of Anopheles gambiae circulating haemocytes was followed by functional gene characterization using cell-based RNAi screens. Assays were carried out to investigate the(More)