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Mosquito gut regenerative response to pathogenic invasion

Mosquitoes cause 400,000 malaria deaths and transmit viruses to hundreds of millions. The vectorial capacity of mosquitoes depends on their ability to survive infection. The damaging effects of pathogenic invasion of the mosquito midgut are well-documented, but little is known about hos mosquitoes tolerate this stress. Intestinal stem cell (ISC) mediated midgut epithelial repair, is essential for Drosophila survival following oral ingestion of pathogens. The mosquito midgut epithelium contain ISC-like cells, but their functional significance for infection outcomes and mosquito survival is unknown. We propose to address this knowledge gap in vector biology by investigating the mosquito gut regenerative response to pathogenic invasion. This collaboration between the Buchon and Harrington labs will aim at characterizing gut epithelial cell dynamics in mosquitoes under conditions of homeostasis and oral infection, and determine the mechanisms that underlie tissue repair in the mosquito midgut, and its influence on vectorial capacity.

This project is collaboration between the Harrington, and Buchon labs.