Malaria is caused by mosquito-borne Plasmodium spp. parasites that must infect and survive within mosquito salivary glands (SGs) prior to host transmission. Recent advances in transcriptomics and the complete genome sequencing of mosquito vectors have increased our knowledge of the SG genes and proteins involved in pathogen infection and transmission. Membrane solute carriers are key proteins involved in drug transport and are useful in the development of new interventions for transmission blocking. Herein, we applied transcriptomics analysis to compare SGs mRNA levels in Anopheles stephensi fed on non-infected and P. berghei-infected mice. The A. stephensi solute carriers prestinA and NDAE1 were up-regulated in response to infection. These molecules are predicted to interact with each other, and are reportedly involved in the maintenance of cell homeostasis. To further evaluate their functions in mosquito survival and parasite infection, these genes were knocked down by RNA interference. Knockdown of prestinA and NDAE1 resulted in reduction of the number of sporozoites in mosquito SGs. Moreover, NDAE1 knockdown strongly impacted mosquito survival, resulting in the death of half of the treated mosquitoes. Overall, our findings indicate the importance of prestinA and NDAE1 in interactions between mosquito SGs and Plasmodium, and suggest the need for further research.
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-Being