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1.  A heavy legacy: offspring of malaria-infected mosquitoes show reduced disease resistance 
Malaria Journal  2014;13(1):442.
Trans-generational effects of immune stimulation may have either adaptive (trans-generational immune priming) or non-adaptive (fitness costs) effects on offspring ability to fight pathogens.
Anopheles coluzzii and its natural malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum were used to test how maternal parasite infection affected offspring resistance to the same parasite species.
Daughters of exposed mothers had similar qualitative resistance, as measured by their ability to prevent infection, relative to those of control mothers. However, maternal disease exposure altered offspring quantitative resistance, measured as the ability to limit parasite development, with mosquitoes of infected mothers suffering slightly increased parasite intensity compared to controls. In addition, quantitative resistance was minimal in offspring of highly infected mothers, and in offspring issued from eggs produced during the early infection phase.
Plasmodium falciparum infection in An. coluzzii can have trans-generational costs, lowering quantitative resistance in offspring of infected mothers. Malaria-exposed mosquitoes might heavily invest in immune defences and thereby produce lower quality offspring that are poorly resistant.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1475-2875-13-442) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4255934  PMID: 25412797
Anopheles coluzzii; Anopheles gambiae M form; Plasmodium falciparum; Maternal effects; Malaria
2.  Individual experience affects host choice in malaria vector mosquitoes 
Parasites & Vectors  2014;7:249.
Despite epidemiological importance, few studies have explored whether individual experience and learning could affect the vertebrate host choice of mosquito disease vectors. Here, we investigated whether a first successful blood meal can modulate mosquito preference during a second blood meal.
In no-choice situations, females of the mosquito Anopheles coluzzii, one of the primary African malaria vectors, were first allowed to feed on either human, rabbit or guinea pig. Four days later in dual-choice situations, the same mosquitoes were allowed to choose between the two uncommon hosts, rabbit and guinea pig, as a source of blood. ELISA assays were then used to determine which host mosquitoes fed on.
Our results indicate that, overall, mosquitoes preferred to feed on rabbit over guinea pig and that the nature of the first blood meal had a significant impact on the mosquito host choice during the second blood meal. Compared to mosquitoes that previously fed on guinea pigs or humans, mosquitoes that fed on rabbits were less likely to choose this host species during a second exposition. The decreased preference for rabbit was observed four days after mosquitoes were first exposed to this host, suggesting that the effect lasts at least the duration of a gonotrophic cycle. Furthermore, this effect was observed after only one successful blood meal. Fitness measurements on mosquitoes fed on the three different vertebrate hosts showed that the origin of the blood meal affected mosquito longevity but not fecundity. In particular, human-fed mosquitoes lived longer than guinea pig-fed or rabbit-fed mosquitoes.
Our study demonstrates that individual experience affects host choice in this mosquito species and might have strong repercussions on biting patterns in natural conditions and hence on malaria transmission.
PMCID: PMC4046144  PMID: 24885668
Experience; Host choice; Feeding behaviour; Mosquitoes; Anopheles coluzzii; Anopheles gambiae M form; Malaria; Vector; Transmission
3.  Non-Genetic Determinants of Mosquito Competence for Malaria Parasites 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(6):e1003365.
Understanding how mosquito vectors and malaria parasites interact is of fundamental interest, and it also offers novel perspectives for disease control. Both the genetic and environmental contexts are known to affect the ability of mosquitoes to support malaria development and transmission, i.e., vector competence. Although the role of environment has long been recognized, much work has focused on host and parasite genetic effects. However, the last few years have seen a surge of studies revealing a great diversity of ways in which non-genetic factors can interfere with mosquito-Plasmodium interactions. Here, we review the current evidence for such environmentally mediated effects, including ambient temperature, mosquito diet, microbial gut flora, and infection history, and we identify additional factors previously overlooked in mosquito-Plasmodium interactions. We also discuss epidemiological implications, and the evolutionary consequences for vector immunity and parasite transmission strategies. Finally, we propose directions for further research and argue that an improved knowledge of non-genetic influences on mosquito-Plasmodium interactions could aid in implementing conventional malaria control measures and contribute to the design of novel strategies.
PMCID: PMC3688545  PMID: 23818841
4.  Reassortant influenza A viruses in wild duck populations: effects on viral shedding and persistence in water 
Wild ducks of the genus Anas represent the natural hosts for a large genetic diversity of influenza A viruses. In these hosts, co-infections with different virus genotypes are frequent and result in high rates of genetic reassortment. Recent genomic data have provided information regarding the pattern and frequency of these reassortant viruses in duck populations; however, potential consequences on viral shedding and maintenance in the environment have not been investigated. On the basis of full-genome sequencing, we identified five virus genotypes, in a wild duck population in northwestern Minnesota (USA), that naturally arose from genetic reassortments. We investigated the effects of influenza A virus genotype on the viral shedding pattern in Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and the duration of infectivity in water, under different temperature regimens. Overall, we found that variation in the viral genome composition of these isolates had limited effects on duration, extent and pattern of viral shedding, as well as on the reduction of infectivity in water over time. These results support that, in wild ducks, functionally equivalent gene segments could be maintained in virus populations with no fitness costs when genetic reassortments occur.
PMCID: PMC3427581  PMID: 22859590
avian influenza virus; genetic reassortments; wild birds; mallards; water-borne transmission; experimental infections
5.  Genetic variation in resistance, but not tolerance, to a protozoan parasite in the monarch butterfly 
Natural selection should strongly favour hosts that can protect themselves against parasites. Most studies on animals so far have focused on resistance, a series of mechanisms through which hosts prevent infection, reduce parasite growth or clear infection. However, animals may instead evolve tolerance, a defence mechanism by which hosts do not reduce parasite infection or growth, but instead alleviate the negative fitness consequences of such infection and growth. Here, we studied genetic variation in resistance and tolerance in the monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) to its naturally occurring protozoan parasite, Ophryocystis elektroscirrha. We exposed 560 monarch larvae of 19 different family lines to one of five different parasite inoculation doses (0, 1, 5, 10 and 100 infective spores) to create a range of parasite loads in infected butterflies. We then used two proxies of host fitness (adult lifespan and body mass) to quantify: (i) qualitative resistance (the ability to prevent infection; also known as avoidance or anti-infection resistance); (ii) quantitative resistance (the ability to limit parasite growth upon infection; also known as control or anti-growth resistance); and (iii) tolerance (the ability to maintain fitness with increasing parasite infection intensity). We found significant differences among host families in qualitative and quantitative resistance, indicating genetic variation in resistance. However, we found no genetic variation in tolerance. This may indicate that all butterflies in our studied population have evolved maximum tolerance, as predicted by some theoretical models.
PMCID: PMC3030843  PMID: 20843849
host–parasite interactions; resistance; tolerance; monarch butterfly; Ophryocystis elektroscirrha
6.  Defence strategies against a parasitoid wasp in Drosophila: fight or flight? 
Biology Letters  2011;8(2):230-233.
Hosts may defend themselves against parasitism through a wide variety of defence mechanisms, but due to finite resources, investment in one defence mechanism may trade-off with investment in another mechanism. We studied resistance strategies against the parasitoid wasp Leptopilina boulardi in two Drosophila species. We found that D. melanogaster had significantly lower physiological resistance against L. boulardi than D. simulans, and hypothesized that D. melanogaster might instead invest more heavily in other forms of defence, such as behavioural defence. We found that when given a choice between clean oviposition sites and sites infested with wasps, both D. melanogaster and D. simulans detected and avoided infested sites, which presumably limits later exposure of their offspring to infection. Unlike D. simulans, however, D. melanogaster laid significantly fewer eggs than controls in the forced presence of wasps. Our findings suggest that D. melanogaster relies more heavily on behavioural avoidance as defence against wasp parasitism than D. simulans, and that this may compensate for a lack of physiological defence.
PMCID: PMC3297374  PMID: 21865240
physiological and behavioural defences; Drosophila; parasitoid wasps; resistance; avoidance
7.  Water-seeking behavior in worm-infected crickets and reversibility of parasitic manipulation 
Behavioral Ecology  2011;22(2):392-400.
One of the most fascinating examples of parasite-induced host manipulation is that of hairworms, first, because they induce a spectacular “suicide” water-seeking behavior in their terrestrial insect hosts and, second, because the emergence of the parasite is not lethal per se for the host that can live several months following parasite release. The mechanisms hairworms use to increase the encounter rate between their host and water remain, however, poorly understood. Considering the selective landscape in which nematomorph manipulation has evolved as well as previously obtained proteomics data, we predicted that crickets harboring mature hairworms would display a modified behavioral response to light. Since following parasite emergence in water, the cricket host and parasitic worm do not interact physiologically anymore, we also predicted that the host would recover from the modified behaviors. We examined the effect of hairworm infection on different behavioral responses of the host when stimulated by light to record responses from uninfected, infected, and ex-infected crickets. We showed that hairworm infection fundamentally modifies cricket behavior by inducing directed responses to light, a condition from which they mostly recover once the parasite is released. This study supports the idea that host manipulation by parasites is subtle, complex, and multidimensional.
PMCID: PMC3071748  PMID: 22476265
behavior; insects; nematomorph; parasite manipulation; parasitism; phototaxis
8.  One year follow-up of the multi-centre European PARTNER transcatheter heart valve study 
European Heart Journal  2010;32(2):148-157.
Transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) has emerged as a new therapeutic option in high-risk patients with severe aortic stenosis.
PARTNER EU is the first study to evaluate prospectively the procedural and mid-term outcomes of transfemoral (TF) or transapical (TA) implantation of the Edwards SAPIEN® valve involving a multi-disciplinary approach.
Methods and results
Primary safety endpoints were 30 days and 6 months mortality. Primary efficacy endpoints were haemodynamic and functional improvement at 12 months. One hundred and thirty patients (61 TF, 69 TA), aged 82.1 ± 5.5 years were included. TA patients had higher logistic EuroSCORE (33.8 vs. 25.7%, P = 0.0005) and more peripheral disease (49.3 vs. 16.4%, P< 0.0001). Procedures were aborted in four TA (5.8%) and six TF cases (9.8%). Valve implantation was successful in the remaining patients in 95.4 and 96.4%, respectively. Thirty days and 6 months survival were 81.2 and 58.0% (TA) and 91.8 and 90.2% (TF). In both groups, mean aortic gradient decreased from 46.9 ± 18.1 to 10.9 ± 5.4 mmHg 6 months post-TAVI. In total, 78.1 and 84.8% of patients experienced significant improvement in New York Heart Association (NYHA) class, whereas 73.9 and 72.7% had improved Kansas City Cardiomyopathy Questionnaire (KCCQ) scores in TA and TF cohorts, respectively.
This first team-based multi-centre European TAVI registry shows promising results in high-risk patients treated by TF or TA delivery. Survival rates differ significantly between TF and TA groups and probably reflect the higher risk profile of the TA cohort. Optimal patient screening, approach selection, and device refinement may improve outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3021390  PMID: 21075775
Aortic valve stenosis; Transcatheter heart valve; Transfemoral; Transapical
9.  Beer Consumption Increases Human Attractiveness to Malaria Mosquitoes 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(3):e9546.
Malaria and alcohol consumption both represent major public health problems. Alcohol consumption is rising in developing countries and, as efforts to manage malaria are expanded, understanding the links between malaria and alcohol consumption becomes crucial. Our aim was to ascertain the effect of beer consumption on human attractiveness to malaria mosquitoes in semi field conditions in Burkina Faso.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We used a Y tube-olfactometer designed to take advantage of the whole body odour (breath and skin emanations) as a stimulus to gauge human attractiveness to Anopheles gambiae (the primary African malaria vector) before and after volunteers consumed either beer (n = 25 volunteers and a total of 2500 mosquitoes tested) or water (n = 18 volunteers and a total of 1800 mosquitoes). Water consumption had no effect on human attractiveness to An. gambiae mosquitoes, but beer consumption increased volunteer attractiveness. Body odours of volunteers who consumed beer increased mosquito activation (proportion of mosquitoes engaging in take-off and up-wind flight) and orientation (proportion of mosquitoes flying towards volunteers' odours). The level of exhaled carbon dioxide and body temperature had no effect on human attractiveness to mosquitoes. Despite individual volunteer variation, beer consumption consistently increased attractiveness to mosquitoes.
These results suggest that beer consumption is a risk factor for malaria and needs to be integrated into public health policies for the design of control measures.
PMCID: PMC2832015  PMID: 20209056
10.  Percutaneous coronary intervention for bifurcation coronary disease 
Heart  2004;90(6):713-722.
PMCID: PMC1768265  PMID: 15145893
percutaneous coronary intervention; bifurcation coronary disease; stents
12.  Binding of Pediocin PA-1 with Anionic Lipid Induces Model Membrane Destabilization 
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2003;69(11):6777-6784.
To obtain molecular insights into the action mode of antimicrobial activity of pediocin PA-1, the interactions between this bacteriocin and dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) or dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPG) model membranes have been investigated in D2O at pD 6 by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The interactions were monitored with respect to alteration of the secondary structure of pediocin, as registered by the amide I′ band, and phospholipid conformation, as revealed by the methylene νs(CH2) and carbonyl ν(C=O) stretching vibrations. The results show that no interaction between pediocin and DMPC occurs. By contrast, pediocin undergoes a structural reorganization in the presence of DMPG. Upon heating, pediocin self-aggregates, which is not observed for this pD in aqueous solution. The gel-to-crystalline phase transition of DMPG shifts to higher temperatures with a concomitant dehydration of the interfacial region. Our results indicate that pediocin is an extrinsic peptide and that its action mechanism may lie in a destabilization of the cell membrane.
PMCID: PMC262285  PMID: 14602640

Results 1-12 (12)