Impact Of Vector Symbionts On Malaria Transmission And Control In Cameroon

Malaria is one of the most devastating diseases in Cameroon, affecting children and pregnant women in particular. An. gambiae, a type of mosquito, is the main way that malaria is spread. Nowadays, vector control, or control of the mosquitoes that spread malaria, remains a cornerstone of malaria prevention through insecticide-based interventions such as insecticidal bed nets and Indoor Residual Spraying. However, the emergence of insecticide resistance in mosquitoes remains a major obstacle in the fight against malaria. There is a great need to develop new tools to combat this disease. Research has suggested that Wolbachia and Asaia, two groups of endosymbiotic bacteria that live inside mosquitoes, can potentially block the ability of malaria to infect mosquitoes. In this project, we propose to investigate the prevalence of these bacteria among wild An. gambiae populations from different eco-geographical regions of Cameroon. In addition, we will evaluate the impact of these bacteria on development of malaria parasites within mosquitoes. The use of endosymbionts to control malaria could be a valuable new tool to prevent transmission of the disease.