26 Works

Data from: Barrier bednets target malaria vectors and expand the range of usable insecticides

Gregory P.D. Murray, Natalie Lissenden, Jeff Jones, Vitaly Voloshin, K. Hyacinthe Toé, Ellie Sherrard-Smith, Geraldine M. Foster, Thomas S. Churcher, Josephine E.A. Parker, Catherine E. Towers, Sagnon N’Falé, Wamdaogo M. Guelbeogo, Hilary Ranson, David Towers & Philip J. McCall
Transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria parasites occurs when nocturnal Anopheles mosquito vectors feed on human blood. In Africa, where malaria burden is greatest, bednets treated with pyrethroid insecticide were highly effective in preventing mosquito bites and reducing transmission, and essential to achieving unprecedented reductions in malaria until 2015. Since then, progress has stalled and with insecticidal bednets losing efficacy against pyrethroid-resistant Anopheles vectors, methods that restore performance are urgently needed to eliminate any risk of...

Selection and exploitation of prevalent, tandemly repeated genomic targets for improved real-time PCR-based detection of Wuchereria bancrofti and Plasmodium falciparum in mosquitoes

Michael Zulch, Nils Pilotte, Jessica Grant, Corrado Minetti, Lisa Reimer & Steven Williams
Background Optimization of polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostics requires the careful selection of molecular targets that are both highly repetitive and pathogen-specific. Advances in both next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies and bioinformatics-based analysis tools are facilitating this selection process, informing target choices and reducing labor. Once developed, such assays provide disease control and elimination programs with an additional set of tools capable of evaluating and monitoring intervention successes. The importance of such tools is heightened as...

Data from: Medically important differences in snake venom composition are dictated by distinct postgenomic mechanisms

Nicholas R. Casewell, Simon C. Wagstaff, Wolfgang Wüster, Darren A. N. Cook, Fiona M. S. Bolton, Sarah I. King, Davinia Pla, Libia Sanz, Juan J. Calvete & Robert A. Harrison
Variation in venom composition is a ubiquitous phenomenon in snakes and occurs both interspecifically and intraspecifically. Venom variation can have severe outcomes for snakebite victims by rendering the specific antibodies found in antivenoms ineffective against heterologous toxins found in different venoms. The rapid evolutionary expansion of different toxin-encoding gene families in different snake lineages is widely perceived as the main cause of venom variation. However, this view is simplistic and disregards the understudied influence that...

Data from: Evidence for a discrete evolutionary lineage within Equatorial Guinea suggests that the tsetse fly Glossina palpalis palpalis exists as a species complex

Naomi Dyer, Andreia Furtado, Jorge Cano, Filipa Ferreira, M. Odete Afonso, Nicolas Ndong-Mabale, Pedro Ndong-Asumu, Sonia Centeno-Lima, Agustín Benito, David Weetman, Martin Donnelly & Joao Pinto
Tsetse flies of the palpalis group are major vectors of Human African Trypanosomiasis in Africa. Accurate knowledge of species identity is essential for vector control. Here we combine ribosomal internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1), mitochondrial Cytochrome Oxidase 1 (COI) and microsatellites to determine the population structure and phylogenetic relations of G. p. palpalis in Equatorial Guinea. COI sequence data suggest that G. p. palpalis in Equatorial Guinea are a distinct subspecies from previously described G....

Data from: Chronic household air pollution exposure is associated with impaired alveolar macrophage function in Malawian non-smokers

Jamie Rylance, Chikondi Chimpini, Sean Semple, David G. Russell, Malcolm J. Jackson, Robert S. Heyderman & Stephen B. Gordon
Background: Household air pollution in low income countries is an important cause of mortality from respiratory infection. We hypothesised that chronic smoke exposure is detrimental to alveolar macrophage function, causing failure of innate immunity. We report the relationship between macrophage function and prior smoke exposure in healthy Malawians. Methods: Healthy subjects exposed daily to cooking smoke at home volunteered for bronchoalveolar lavage. Alveolar macrophage particulate content was measured as a known correlate of smoke exposure....

Data from: Computer-aided X-ray screening for tuberculosis and HIV testing among adults with cough in Malawi (the PROSPECT study): a randomized trial and cost-effectiveness analysis

Peter MacPherson
Suboptimal tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics and HIV contribute to the high global burden of TB. We investigated costs and yield from systematic HIV-TB screening, including computer-aided digital chest X-ray (DCXR-CAD). Suboptimal tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics and HIV contribute to the high global burden of TB. We investigated costs and yield from systematic HIV-TB screening, including computer-aided digital chest X-ray (DCXR-CAD). In this open, three-arm randomised trial, adults (≥18 years) with cough attending acute primary services in Malawi...

Data from: On the ancestral recruitment of metalloproteinases into the venom of snakes

Nicholas R. Casewell
Tracing the evolutionary history of proteins can reveal insights into gene alterations responsible for changes in structure and function. Here, the origin of snake venom metalloproteinases was rigorously reassessed using phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancestral sequences. Basal SVMPs are most closely related to ADAM 7, 28 and decysin 1 proteins. Reconstructing the evolutionary history of these proteins and their hypothetical ancestors elucidates progressive alterations in the amino acid composition and structural characteristics of ADAMs/SVMPs...

Data from: Geographic population structure of the African malaria vector Anopheles gambiae suggests a role for the forest-savannah biome transition as a barrier to gene flow

Joao Pinto, Alexander Egyir-Yawson, José L. Vicente, Bruno Gomes, Federica Santalomazza, Marta Moreno, Jacques D. Charlwood, Frederic Simard, Nohal Elissa, David Weetman, Martin J. Donnelly, Adalgisa Caccone, Alessandra Della Torre, Caccone A, Simard F, Pinto J, Vicente JL, Gomes B, Elissa N, Weetman D & Donnelly MJ
The primary Afrotropical malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto has a complex population structure. In western Africa, this species is split into two molecular forms and displays local and regional variation in chromosomal arrangements and behaviours. To investigate patterns of macro-geographic population substructure, 25 An. gambiae samples from 12 African countries were genotyped at 13 microsatellite loci. This analysis detected the presence of additional population structuring, with the M-form being subdivided into distinct west,...

Data from: Tracing the origin of the early wet-season Anopheles coluzzii in the Sahel

Tovi Lehmann, David Weetman, Diana L. Huestis, Alpha S. Yaro, Yaya Kassogue, Moussa Diallo, Martin J. Donnelly & Adama Dao
In arid environments the source of the malaria mosquito populations that re-establish soon after first rains remains a puzzle and alternative explanations have been proposed. Using genetic data, we evaluated whether the early Rainy Season (RS) population of Anopheles coluzzii is descended from the preceding late-RS generation at the same locality, consistent with dry season (DS) dormancy (aestivation), or from migrants from distant locations. Distinct predictions derived from these two hypotheses were assessed, based on...

Data from: The last bastion? X chromosome genotyping of Anopheles gambiae species pair males from a hybrid zone reveals complex recombination within the major candidate ‘genomic island of speciation’

Beniamino Caputo, Verena Pichler, Emiliano Mancini, Marco Pombi, Josè L. Vicente, Joao Dinis, Keith Steen, Vincenzo Petrarca, Amabelia Rodrigues, Joao Pinto, Alessandra Della Torre & David Weetman
Speciation with gene flow may be aided by reduced recombination helping to build linkage between genes involved in the early stages of reproductive isolation. Reduced recombination on chromosome X has been implicated in speciation within the Anopheles gambiae complex, species of which represent the major Afrotropical malaria vectors. The most recently diverged, morphologically indistinguishable, species pair, A. gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii, ubiquitously displays a ‘genomic island of divergence’ spanning over 4 Mb from chromosome X...

Accuracy of the mologic COVID-19 rapid antigen test-a prospective multi-centre analytical and clinical evaluation

Ana Isabel Cubas Atienzar, Fiona Bell, Rachel L. Byrne, Kate Buist, David J Clark, Michael Cocozza, Andrea M Collins, Luis E. Cuevas, Annelyse Duvoix, Nicholas Easom, Thomas Edwards, Daniela M Ferreira, Tom Fletcher, Elisabetta Groppelli, Angela Hyder-Wright, Ewelina Kadamus, Daniela E. Kirwan, Konstantina Kontogianni, Sanjeev Krishna, Diana Kluczna, Julian Mark, Josephine Mensah-Kane, Elisha Miller, Elena Mitsi, Donna Norton … & Emily R Adams
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the reliance on antigen detection rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs). Their evaluation at point of use is a priority. Here, we report a multi-centre evaluation of the analytical sensitivity, specificity, and clinical accuracy of the Mologic COVID-19 Ag-RDT by comparing to RT-qPCR results from individuals with and without COVID-19 symptoms. Participants attending secondary care facilities in Merseyside, ambulance services in Yorkshire, and drive-through testing facilities in Northumberland, UK....

Data from: Perceptions of research bronchoscopy in Malawian adults with pulmonary tuberculosis: a cross-sectional study.

Andrew D. McCallum, Deborah Nyirenda, Wezzie Lora, Saye H. Khoo, Derek J. Sloan, Henry C. Mwandumba, Nicola Desmond & Geraint R. Davies
Bronchoscopy is an established research tool in Malawi, enabling collection of pulmonary samples for immunological, pharmacological, and microbiological studies. It is, however, an invasive clinical procedure that offers no direct benefit to volunteering participants when used in a research capacity alone, and thus informed consent is essential. This study aimed to explore TB patients’ understanding of research bronchoscopy, what would motivate them to participate in research bronchoscopy, and their concerns, in order to inform consenting...

Data from: Positional cloning of rp2 QTL associates the P450 genes CYP6Z1, CYP6Z3 and CYP6M7 with pyrethroid resistance in the malaria vector Anopheles funestus

Helen Irving, Jacob M. Riveron, Sulaiman S. Ibrahim, Neil F. Lobo & Charles S. Wondji
Pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles funestus is threatening malaria control in Africa. Elucidation of underlying resistance mechanisms is crucial to improve the success of future control programs. A positional cloning approach was used to identify genes conferring resistance in the uncharacterised rp2 QTL previously detected in this vector using F6 Advanced Intercross Lines (AIL). A 113 kb BAC clone spanning rp2 was identified and sequenced revealing a cluster of fifteen P450 genes and one salivary protein...

Vector bionomics and vectorial capacity as emergent properties of mosquito behaviors and ecology

Sean Wu, Penny Hancock, Arnaud Le Menach, Tanya Russell, Thomas Burkot, , Derek Cummings, Kelly Compton, Daniel Citron, John Marshall, Biyonka Liang, Catherine Moyes, Qian Zhang, David Smith, Samson Kiware, Anne Wilson, Thomas Scott, John Henry, Steven Lindsay, Amit Verma & Hector Sanchez C.
Mosquitoes are important vectors for pathogens that infect humans and other vertebrate animals. Some aspects of adult mosquito behavior and mosquito ecology play an important role in determining the capacity of vector populations to transmit pathogens. Here, we re-examine factors affecting the transmission of pathogens by mosquitoes using a new approach. Unlike most previous models, this framework considers the behavioral states and state transitions of adult mosquitoes through a sequence of activity bouts. We developed...

Anopheles stephensi occurrence data 1985 - 2019

Marianne Sinka, Samuel Pironon, Nicola Massey, Joshua Longbottom, Janet Hemingway, Catherine Moyes & Katherine Willis
In 2012, an unusual outbreak of malaria occurred in Djibouti City followed by increasingly severe annual outbreaks. Investigations revealed the presence of an Asian mosquito species; Anopheles stephensi, which thrives in urban environments. Anopheles stephensi has since been identified in Ethiopia and Sudan. By combining data for An. stephensi across its full range (Asia, Arabian Peninsula, Horn of Africa) with spatial models that identify the species’ preferred habitat, we provide evidence-based maps predicting the possible...

Data from: Genetic mapping identifies a major locus spanning P450 clusters associated with pyrethroid resistance in kdr-free Anopheles arabiensis from Chad

Claudia Witzig, Matthew Parry, John C. Morgan, Helen Irving, Andrew Steven, Nelson Cuamba, Clement Kerah-Hinzoumbé, Hilary Ranson & Charles S. Wondji
Prevention of malaria transmission throughout much of Africa is dependent on bednets that are impregnated with pyrethroid insecticides. Anopheles arabiensis is the major malaria vector in Chad and efforts to control this vector are threatened by the emergence of pyrethroid resistance. WHO bioassays revealed that An. arabiensis from Ndjamena is resistant to pyrethroids and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) but fully susceptible to carbamates and organophosphates. No 1014F or 1014S kdr alleles were detected in this population. To...

Data from: A low technology emanator treated with the volatile pyrethroid transfluthrin confers long term protection against outdoor biting vectors of lymphatic filariasis, arboviruses and malaria

Sheila B. Ogoma, Arnold S. Mmbando, Johnson K. Swai, Sebastian Horstmann, David Malone, Gerry F. Killeen & Arnold S. Mmando
Background. The vapor phase of the volatile pyrethroid transfluthrin incapacitates mosquitoes and prevents them from feeding. Although existing emanator products for delivering volatile pyrethroids protect against outdoor mosquito bites, they are too short-lived to be practical or affordable for routine use in low-income settings. New transfluthrin emanators, comprised simply of treated hessian fabric strips, have recently proven highly protective against outdoor-biting vectors of lymphatic filariasis, arboviruses and malaria, but their full protective lifespan, minimum dose...

Data from: Plasmodium vivax diversity and population structure across four continents

Cristian Koepfli, Priscila T. Rodrigues, Tiago Antao, Pamela Orjuela-Sánchez, Peter Van Den Eede, Dionicia Gamboa, Nguyen Van Hong, Jorge Bendezu, Annette Erhart, Céline Barnadas, Arsène Ratsimbasoa, Didier Menard, Carlo Severini, Michela Menegon, Baki Y. M. Nour, Nadira Karunaweera, Ivo Mueller, Marcelo U. Ferreira, Ingrid Felger & Bakri Y. M. Nour
Plasmodium vivax is the geographically most widespread human malaria parasite. To analyze patterns of microsatellite diversity and population structure across countries of different transmission intensity, genotyping data from 11 microsatellite markers was either generated or compiled from 841 isolates from four continents collected in 1999–2008. Diversity was highest in South-East Asia (mean allelic richness 10.0–12.8), intermediate in the South Pacific (8.1–9.9) Madagascar and Sudan (7.9–8.4), and lowest in South America and Central Asia (5.5–7.2). A...

Data from: The impact of pyrethroid resistance on the efficacy and effectiveness of bednets for malaria control in Africa

Thomas S Churcher, Natalie Lissenden, Jamie T. Griffin, Eve Worrall & Hilary Ranson
Long lasting pyrethroid treated bednets are the most important tool for preventing malaria. Pyrethroid resistant Anopheline mosquitoes are now ubiquitous in Africa though the public health impact remains unclear, impeding the deployment of more expensive nets. Meta-analyses of bioassay studies and experimental hut trials are used to characterise how pyrethroid resistance changes the efficacy of standard bednets, and those containing the synergist piperonyl butoxide (PBO), and assess its impact on malaria control. New bednets provide...

Data from: Low coverage genomic data resolve the population divergence and gene flow history of an Australian rain forest fig wasp

Graham Stone, Lisa Cooper, Lynsey Bunnefeld, Jack Hearn, James Cook & Konrad Lohse
Population divergence and gene flow are key processes in evolution and ecology. Model-based analysis of genome-wide datasets allows discrimination between alternative scenarios for these processes even in non-model taxa. We used two complementary approaches (one based on the blockwise site frequency spectrum (bSFS), the second on the Pairwise Sequentially Markovian Coalescent (PSMC)) to infer the divergence history of a fig wasp, Pleistodontes nigriventris. Pleistodontes nigriventris and its fig tree mutualist Ficus watkinsiana are restricted to...

Gene-drive suppression of mosquito populations in large cages as a bridge between lab and field

Andrew Hammond, Paola Pollegioni, Tania Persampieri, Ace North, Roxana Minuz, Alessandro Trusso, Alessandro Bucci, Kyros Kyrou, Ioanna Morianou, Alekos Simoni, Tony Nolan, Ruth Müller & Andrea Crisanti
CRISPR-based gene-drives targeting the gene doublesex in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae effectively suppressed the reproductive capability of mosquito populations reared in small laboratory cages. To bridge the gap between laboratory and the field, this gene-drive technology must be challenged with vector ecology. Here we report the suppressive activity of the gene-drive in age-structured An. gambiae populations in large indoor cages that permit complex feeding and reproductive behaviours. The gene-drive element spreads rapidly through the...

Spatial targeting of Screening + Eave tubes (SET), a house-based malaria control intervention, in Côte d’Ivoire: A geostatistical modelling study

Tiago Canelas, Edward Thomsen, Daniel McDermott, Eleanore Sternberg, Matthew B. Thomas & Eve Worrall
New malaria control tools and tailoring interventions to local contexts are needed to reduce the malaria burden and meet global goals. The housing modification, screening plus a targeted house-based insecticide delivery system called the In2Care® Eave Tubes, has been shown to reduce clinical malaria in a large cluster randomised controlled trial. However, the widescale suitability of this approach is unknown. We aimed to predict household suitability and define the most appropriate locations for ground-truthing where...

Comparative evaluation of ten lateral flow immunoassays to detect SARS-CoV-2 antibodies

Gala Garrod, Sophie Owen, Kenneth Baillie, Lisa Baldwin, Lottie Brown, Rachel Byrne, Ana Cubas-Atienzar, Luis Cuevas, Alice Fraser, Thomas Fletcher, Lynsey Goodwin, Grant Kay, Konstantina Kontogianni, Jenifer Mason, Peter Openshaw, Stefanie Menzies, Shona Moore, Malcolm Semple, Joseph Taylor, Lance Turtle, Christopher Williams & Emily Adams
Background: Rapid mobilisation from industry and academia following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), led to the development and availability of SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow immunoassays (LFAs). High-quality LFAs are urgently needed at the point of care to add to currently available diagnostic tools. In this study, we provide evaluation data for ten LFAs suitable for use at the point of care. Methods: COVID-19 positive patients (N=45), confirmed by...

Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes as vectors of Plasmodium vivax and falciparum, Horn of Africa, 2019

Fitsum G. Tadesse, Temesgen Ashine, Hiwot Teka, Endashaw Esayas, Louisa A. Messenger, Wakweya Chali, Lisette Meerstein-Kessel, Thomas Walker, Sinknesh Wolde Behaksra, Kjerstin Lanke, Roel Heutink, Claire L. Jeffries, Daniel Abebe Mekonnen, Elifaged Hailemeskel, Surafel K. Tebeje, Temesgen Tafesse, Abrham Gashaw, Tizita Tsegaye, Tadele Emiru, Kigozi Simon, Eyuel Asemahegn Bogale, Gedeon Yohannes, Soriya Kedir, Girma Shumie, Senya Asfer Sabir … & Teun Bousema
An. stephensi, an efficient malaria vector in parts of Asia and Africa, was observed in 75.3% of water sources surveyed, and contributed to 80.9% of wild-caught Anopheles mosquitoes in Awash Sebat Kilo, Ethiopia. High susceptibility of these mosquitoes to Plasmodium falciparum and vivax infection presents a challenge for malaria control in the Horn of Africa. This study was conducted in Awash Sebat Kilo, Ethiopia, an area of perennial malaria transmission, from April to September 2019....

Data from: On the ancestral recruitment of metalloproteinases into the venom of snakes

Nicholas R. Casewell
Tracing the evolutionary history of proteins can reveal insights into gene alterations responsible for changes in structure and function. Here, the origin of snake venom metalloproteinases was rigorously reassessed using phylogenetics and the reconstruction of ancestral sequences. Basal SVMPs are most closely related to ADAM 7, 28 and decysin 1 proteins. Reconstructing the evolutionary history of these proteins and their hypothetical ancestors elucidates progressive alterations in the amino acid composition and structural characteristics of ADAMs/SVMPs...

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