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Keywords:

  • transformation;
  • bee venom phospholipase A2;
  • malaria;
  • piggyBac;
  • fitness

Abstract

The genetic manipulation of mosquito vectors is an alternative strategy in the fight against malaria. It was previously shown that bee venom phospholipase A2 (PLA2) inhibits ookinete invasion of the mosquito midgut although mosquito fitness was reduced. To maintain the PLA2 blocking ability without compromising mosquito biology, we mutated the protein-coding sequence to inactivate the enzyme while maintaining the protein's structure. DNA encoding the mutated PLA2 (mPLA2) was placed downstream of a mosquito midgut-specific promoter (Anopheles gambiae peritrophin protein 1 promoter, AgPer1) and this construct used to transform Aedes fluviatilis mosquitoes. Four different transgenic lines were obtained and characterized and all lines significantly inhibited Plasmodium gallinaceum oocyst development (up to 68% fewer oocysts). No fitness cost was observed when this mosquito species expressed the mPLA2.