Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, 113(6) june 2018

The remarkable journey of adaptation of the Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasite to New World anopheline mosquitoes

Alvaro Molina-Cruz+, Carolina Barillas-Mury

Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases,u00a0National Institutes of Health, Rockville, Maryland, USA

Page: 662-667 DOI: 10.1590/0074-0276130553
1036 views 150 downloads

Plasmodium falciparum originated in Africa, dispersed around the world as a result of human migration and had to adapt to several different indigenous anopheline mosquitoes. Anophelines from the New World are evolutionary distant form African ones and this probably resulted in a more stringent selection of Plasmodium as it adapted to these vectors. It is thought that Plasmodium has been genetically selected by some anopheline species through unknown mechanisms. The mosquito immune system can greatly limit infection and P. falciparum evolved a strategy to evade these responses, at least in part mediated by Pfs47, a highly polymorphic gene. We propose that adaptation of P. falciparum to new vectors may require evasion of their immune system. Parasites with a Pfs47 haplotype compatible with the indigenous mosquito vector would be able to survive and be transmitted. The mosquito antiplasmodial response could be an important determinant of P. falciparum population structure and could affect malaria transmission in the Americas.

Financial support: Intramural Research Program/DIR/ NIAID/NIH
+ Corresponding author:
Received 27 November 2013
Accepted 25 February 2014

Our Location

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz

Av. Brasil 4365, Castelo Mourisco 
sala 201, Manguinhos, 21040-900 
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil

Tel.: +55-21-2562-1222

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Support Program

logo fiocruz logo governo
logo faperj logo cnpq marca capes