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Int J Parasitol. 2007 May;37(6):595-603. Epub 2006 Dec 28.

Using bacteria to express and display anti-Plasmodium molecules in the mosquito midgut.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Immunology, Malaria Research Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Bacteria capable of colonizing mosquito midguts are attractive vehicles for delivering anti-malaria molecules. We genetically engineered Escherichia coli to display two anti-Plasmodium effector molecules, SM1 and phospholipase-A(2), on their outer membrane. Both molecules significantly inhibited Plasmodium berghei development when engineered bacteria were fed to mosquitoes 24h prior to an infective bloodmeal (SM1=41%, PLA2=23%). Furthermore, prevalence and numbers of engineered bacteria increased dramatically following a bloodmeal. However, E. coli survived poorly in mosquitoes. Therefore, Enterobacter agglomerans was isolated from mosquitoes and selected for midgut survival by multiple passages through mosquitoes. After four passages, E. agglomerans survivorship increased from 2 days to 2 weeks. Since E. agglomerans is non-pathogenic and widespread, it is an excellent candidate for paratransgenic control strategies.

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