Understanding mosquito commensal-to-pathobiont transition to develop new vector control tools

Lead Research Organisation: Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Department Name: Vector Biology


The mosquito microbiome is increasingly gaining attention in the field of vector control because of its influence on vectorial capacity. However, in order to exploit microbes as novel control tools, a deeper understanding of the complex mosquito-microbiome interactions is needed. The gut-associated microbes are usually beneficial for its host, but the symbiotic relationship between mosquito and microbe can shift from a commensalism to a pathogenesis depending on biotic and abiotic factors. One of the mechanisms behind this transition has been characterised in Drosophila, where pathobionts, unlike commensal bacteria, uptake uridine and produce uracil, activating the fly DUOX immune pathway. Although the commensal-to-pathobiont transition has not been described in mosquitoes, the similarity of the DUOX immune pathway suggests that this mechanism could be also occurring in these vectors. I would like to study the commensal-to-pathobiont transition in mosquitoes as well as the factors driving these mechanisms in order to improve our understanding of the mosquito-microbe symbiosis and potentially exploit these microbes for novel vector control tools.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
MR/N013514/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2025
2267776 Studentship MR/N013514/1 29/09/2019 31/03/2024