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Exp Parasitol. 2008 Dec;120(4):364-71. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2008.09.003. Epub 2008 Sep 9.

Expression of defensin, cecropin, and transferrin in Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) infected with Wuchereria bancrofti (Spirurida: Onchocercidae), and the abnormal development of nematodes in the mosquito.

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  • 1Department of Entomology, Centro de Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhães/FIOCRUZ, Av. Moraes Rego s/n, Cidade Universitária, Recife PE, CEP 50670-420, Brazil.


The temporal expression of defensin, cecropin and transferrin was assessed in Aedes aegypti naturally refractory to Wuchereria bancrofti upon infection with this worm, in parallel to analysis of filarial development in the insect. Compared to controls, transcription of defensin and cecropin was higher in infected mosquitoes as soon as 2h post infection and peaked before 48h. Transferrin transcription was higher in infected mosquitoes at 24h, and at 48h was almost leveled to controls. At 72h and 7 days post infection, levels of all transcripts in infected insects decreased gradually and were similar to controls in most cases. Worm development in A. aegypti was visually abnormal from the beginning of infection. Here, we report, for the first time, the up-regulation of endogenous immune molecules in A. aegypti infected with W. bancrofti and provide a description of the worm development inside the insect. The specificities of A. aegypti-W. bancrofti model compared to other mosquito-filaria systems are discussed.

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