Claudine Grace Maffo Tatsinkou

Claudine MAFFO is a young Cameroonian, holder of a bachelor’s in animal biology, option Zoology and a Master of Science in Animal Biology, option Parasitology obtained at the University of Dschang in Cameroon. After that, she enrolled for a Master in Tropical Infectiology at Regional Doctoral School of Central Africa in Gabon. During this training, she conducted original research on “Genetic diversity and evolution of the bacteria Wolbachia in Aedes mosquitoes in Gabon” in the unit of “Ecologie des SytèmesVectoriels” of CIRMF-Gabon. This work allowed her to acquire knowledge in entomology, epidemiology, phylogenetic analysis, molecular biology, field work mosquitos’ collections. At the end of this work, she was founded that 25.8% of Aedes mosquitoes were infected with Wolbachia, 7 haplotypes were identified and that these bacteria evolve independently with their host Aedes.

Recently, she has been selected in a PIIVeC project as a Ph.D student working on “Characterization of natural microbiome strains in malaria vectors and evaluation of the vectorial capacity of Anopheles species in the co-infection of Plasmodium spp. and Asaia symbiont in different eco-geographical areas in Cameroon”

By working on this project, she will contribute to finding new innovative strategies for vector control because nowadays in Cameroon, the evolution of insecticide resistance highlight needs to develop alternative malaria control strategies. To achieve this study, she will learn the bioinformatics analysis of 16S, Illumina Miseq sequencing, experimental infections, and bacteria cultures. In addition, at the end of this project, the preliminary data that she will obtain would help her to defend his Ph.D.

This project is just a preliminary study to investigate the presence of natural symbionts in Cameroon. After his Ph.D., she will plan to continue in this field work, looking for another aspect like the relationship between insecticide resistance and mains symbionts in Anopheles and other vectors. Also, her future goals will be established herself as an expert in vector biology in Africa notably by applying to other fellowships such as Wellcome Trust training fellowship and others; and to recruitment in University in Cameroon as a lecturer.