Mosquitoes are important vectors of several pathogens and thereby contribute to the spread of diseases, with social, economic and public health impacts. Amongst the approximately 450 species of Anopheles, about 60 are recognized as vectors of human malaria, the most important parasitic disease. In Africa, Anopheles gambiae is the main malaria vector mosquito. Current malaria control strategies are largely focused on drugs and vector control measures such as insecticides and bed-nets. Improvement of current, and the development of new, mosquito-targeted malaria control methods rely on a better understanding of mosquito vector biology. An organism's transcriptome is a reflection of its physiological state and transcriptomic analyses of different conditions that are relevant to mosquito vector competence can therefore yield important information. Transcriptomic analyses have contributed significant information on processes such as blood-feeding parasite–vector interaction, insecticide resistance, and tissue- and stage-specific gene regulation, thereby facilitating the path towards the development of new malaria control methods. Here, we discuss the main applications of transcriptomic analyses in An. gambiae that have led to a better understanding of mosquito vector competence.
- Anopheles gambiae
- Plasmodium spp