Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena

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Malaria is estimated to cause 0.7 to 2.7 million deaths per year, but the actual figures could be substantially higher owing to under-reporting and difficulties in diagnosis. If no new control measures are developed, the malaria death toll is projected to double in the next 20 years. Efforts to control the disease are hampered by drug resistance in the(More)
Chitinases that function in the molting of the larval exoskeleton have been characterized previously. However, chitinase expression in an adult insect gut has not been described. Here we report on the initial characterization and cloning of a novel chitinase gene that is expressed specifically in the midgut of adult Anopheles gambiae females. Upon feeding,(More)
Vector-borne diseases impose enormous health and economical burdens throughout the world. Unfortunately, as insecticide and drug resistance spread, these burdens will increase unless new control measures are developed. Genetically modifying vectors to be incapable of transmitting parasites is one possible control strategy and much progress has been made(More)
One potential strategy for the control of malaria and other vector-borne diseases is the introduction into wild vector populations of genetic constructs that reduce vectorial capacity. An important caveat of this approach is that the genetic construct should have minimal fitness cost to the transformed vector. Previously, we produced transgenic Anopheles(More)
Upon feeding, mosquito midguts secrete the peritrophic matrix (PM), an extracellular chitin-containing envelope that completely surrounds the blood meal. Because the malaria parasite must cross the PM to complete its life cycle in the mosquito, the PM is a potential barrier for malaria transmission. By antibody screening of an expression library we have(More)
The most vulnerable stages of Plasmodium development occur in the lumen of the mosquito midgut, a compartment shared with symbiotic bacteria. Here, we describe a strategy that uses symbiotic bacteria to deliver antimalaria effector molecules to the midgut lumen, thus rendering host mosquitoes refractory to malaria infection. The Escherichia coli hemolysin A(More)
Despite vast efforts and expenditures in the past few decades, malaria continues to kill millions of persons every year, and new approaches for disease control are urgently needed. To complete its life cycle in the mosquito, Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, has to traverse the epithelia of the midgut and salivary glands. Although strong(More)
Malaria parasites must undergo development within mosquitoes to be transmitted to a new host. Antivector transmission-blocking vaccines inhibit parasite development by preventing ookinete interaction with mosquito midgut ligands. Therefore, the discovery of novel midgut antigen targets is paramount. Jacalin (a lectin) inhibits ookinete attachment by masking(More)
Plasmodium, the causative agent of malaria, has to undergo sexual differentiation and development in anopheline mosquitoes for transmission to occur. To isolate genes specifically induced in both organisms during the early stages of Plasmodium differentiation in the mosquito, two cDNA libraries were constructed, one enriched for sequences expressed in(More)