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Room 304, Chemistry Building

Immunity and fertility in Anopheles gambiae: new molecular targets for malaria control


Professor Richard Baxter
Yale University

Hosted by: Professor Dave Cafiso

Malaria is the world’s most devastating parasitic disease with close to 1 million deaths per annum, mostly children under the age of 5 in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria is transmitted by Anopheles mosquitoes and a single species complex, Anopheles gambiae, is the principal vector for malaria in this region. Historically and still today, vector control by indoor residual spraying of insecticides and distribution of insecticide-treated bednets is the most generally effective method of malaria control. Yet these methods are at risk from the rise of both chemical and behavioral resistance mechanisms by A. gambiae.
New tools and targets are needed to support future efforts to control, eliminate and eventually eradicate malaria. The Baxter Laboratory is pursuing two such approaches: (i) basic research into the molecular mechanism of natural immunity by mosquitoes to malaria parasites and its potential role in modulating transmission, and (ii) the development of mosquito-specific chemosterilants to support application of the sterile-insect technique for malaria control.