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Last update: May 2021

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Anti-microbiota vaccine reduces avian malaria infection within mosquito vectors

@ Alejandro_Cabezas-Cruz. Légende : Inducing infection-refractory states in vector microbiome. (a) Chains of infection of vector-borne diseases such as those transmitted by ticks involve matching (black lines) among competent vectors (red circle), infectious pathogens (blue circle) and an infection-compatible microbiome (yellow circle). (b) Mismatches between at least two of the components can result in an impaired ability of the vector to transmit pathogens. (c) Microbiome manipulation using anti-microbiota vaccines that elicit microbiota specific antibodies can be used to induce infection-refractory states (gray lines) in vector microbiome in which microbiome manipulation results in transmission blocking despite matching between pathogen and vector genetics (black line). Created with and taken from (Parasit Vectors. 2022;15(1):4. doi: 10.1186/s13071-021-05122-5)
In this study, we showed that anti-microbiota vaccination in birds targeting Enterobacteriaceae bacteria within mosquito midguts modulates the mosquito microbiota and disrupt Plasmodium relictum development in its natural vector Culex quinquefasciatus. This study is the first proof of concept that anti-microbiota vaccines can be used as a novel tool to control malaria transmission and potentially other vector-borne pathogens.

Domestic canaries (Serinus canaria domestica) were experimentally infected with P. relictum and/or immunized with live vaccines containing different strains of Escherichia coli. Immunization of birds induced E. coli-specific antibodies. The midgut microbial communities of mosquitoes fed on Plasmodium-infected and/or E. coli-immunized birds were different from those of mosquitoes fed on control birds. Notably, mosquito midgut microbiota modulation was associated with a significant decrease in the occurrence of P. relictum oocysts and sporozoites in the midguts and salivary glands of C. quinquefasciatus, respectively. A significant reduction in the number of oocysts was also observed. We hypothesize that antibodies against midgut commensal bacteria induce infection-refractory states in the mosquito microbiome impairing pathogen development in the vector tissues (see figure below). These findings unequivocally suggest that anti-microbiota vaccines can be used as a novel tool to control malaria transmission and potentially other vector-borne pathogens. 

Contact :
Dr. Alejandro Cabezas-Cruz
22 rue Pierre et Marie Curie
94700 Maisons-Alfort
Tel: +33 (0) 63 12 35 191

See also

Aželytė Justė, Wu-Chuang Alejandra, Žiegytė Rita, Platonova Elena, Mateos-Hernandez Lourdes, Maye Jennifer, Obregon Dasiel, Palinauskas Vaidas, Cabezas-Cruz Alejandro. 2022. Anti-Microbiota Vaccine Reduces Avian Malaria Infection Within Mosquito Vectors. Frontiers in Immunology. Vol. 13. DOI=10.3389/fimmu.2022.841835