Circadian and diel control of blood feeding and flight activity behavior in the malaria mosquito Anopheles farauti
Anopheles farauti complex of mosquitoes are major vectors of malaria in the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Imported malaria is an ongoing threat to northern Australia where An. farauti are found. Selective pressures due to long-term exposure to insecticides appear to be shifting the nocturnal biting cycle of An. farauti to earlier in the night, making the use of bed nets less effective as a barrier for malaria transmission. This project explores the daily (both diel and circadian) flight activity patterns of mosquitoes and their relationship to natural behaviors such as host seeking and blood feeding. We are especially interested in assessing species-specific differences as well as investigating the relationship between insecticide exposure and altered patterns of behavior.
Genetics and Genomics
One way to study certain diseases is through genetics - the study of heredity and the variation of individual inherited genes in an organism. At the EIGH, this means studying how organisms can inherit and spread certain diseases. Additionally, by analyzing the entire structure, function, and evolution of an organism's genes, researchers may identify ways to prevent a disease from genetically passing disease traits.
Vector-borne disease research is a historic strength of the EIGH. Our researchers study multiple parts of the vector-borne disease lifecycle, such as how the parasites, viruses, and bacteria cause these kinds of diseases, how the vectors spread these diseases, and how to improve prevention methods in tropical and subtropical areas, which have the highest burden of vector-borne illnesses.
- James Cook University
- University of Queensland
Rund, S.S.C., Bonar, N.A., Champion, M.M., Ghazi, J.P., Houk, C.M., & Leming, M.T. Daily rhythms in antennal protein and olfactory sensitivity in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae.
Rund, S.S.C., Hou, T.Y., Ward, S.M., Collins, F.H., & Duffield, G.E. Genome-wide profiling of diel and circadian gene expression in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.
Rund, S.S.C., Lee, S.J., Bush, B.R., & Duffield, G,E. Strain- and sex-specific differences in daily flight activity and the circadian clock of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.
Russell, T.L., Beebe, N.W., Cooper, R.D., Lobo, N.F., & Burkot, T.R. Successful malaria elimination strategies require interventions that target changing vector behaviours.