About 90% of all malaria deaths in the world occur in sub Saharan Africa where resistance to antimalarial drugs and to most classes of insecticides are major obstacles for disease control. In the absence of an effective vaccine, novel control strategies are therefore needed. Among the novel approaches being investigated is the replacement of mosquitoes capable to transmit malaria by those that have been made unable to transmit using the natural resistance to malaria parasites shown by mosquitoes in Africa. However, this requires a good understanding of mosquito’s factors that can affect its ability to develop, then to transmit malaria parasite. If progress has been made to elucidate these factors in one of the major vector (An. gambiae), nothing is still known for the other one (An. funestus) despite its important role in malaria transmission throughout Africa.
Taking advantage of progress that was recently achieved in various aspects for An. funestus, I plan in this project to investigate the impact of insecticide resistance on Plasmodiun development and assess the molecular basis of immune response to Plasmodium infection in An. funestus. This should have important implications for the development of novel strategies for controlling malaria transmission.