Impact of native Wolbachia symbionts in host mosquito Anopheles gambiae

Malaria remains the most important health problem in Burkina Faso today. The disease kills more than 5,000 people each year, mostly children and pregnant women. Despite prevention and control efforts, including insecticide-treated bed nets and indoor sprays, the malaria situation continues to worsen as mosquitoes develop resistance to insecticides. As such, complementary methods are needed to achieve malaria elimination in Burkina Faso. A new control approach using bacteria from mosquitoes called Wolbachia is one potential solution. Wolbachia has been shown to be able to decrease transmission of certain pathogens by mosquitoes. My research seeks to explore this new way to tackle malaria by estimating the prevalence of Wolbachia in wild populations of mosquitoes in Burkina Faso and assessing the capacity of Wolbachia to stop malaria transmission.