Boosting new arms to tackle pathogen-vector mosquitoes
A variety of arthropods carry and transmit infectious pathogen into another living organism. The arthropod that transmits a disease is known as a vector, and the disease is referred to as a vector-borne disease. These arthropods, which are haematophagous, form a major group of disease vectors with mosquitoes, flies, sand flies, lice, fleas, ticks, and mites transmitting a number of diseases such as malaria, dengue, filariasis, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of the responses of disease-transmitting vectors against pathogens is of great importance for current efforts to develop novel strategies for control of vector-borne diseases. The pathogens like virus, protozoan parasites, and parasitic nematodes undergo substantial stage-specific losses during those developments in the vector, which in some cases lead to complete refractoriness of the vector against those pathogens. The underlying genetics of vector competency are complex and multifactorial. Completion of the genome sequences of major vector species such as Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti, together with the development of transgenesis in those species and the extension of RNAi and gene-editing techniques (TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9) to vectors, has allowed comparative and functional genomic approaches of the vector and pathogen interaction. In this talk, a highly complex interplay between pathogen and vector which has been (partly) unveiled by our recent findings will be discussed in addition to its implication to vector competency to mediate pathogen transmission.