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Keywords:

  • mosquito;
  • salivary gland;
  • malaria;
  • transgenesis;
  • circumsporozoite protein

Abstract

We produced a transgenic mosquito expressing a rodent malaria vaccine candidate antigen in the salivary gland. Three tandemly repeated amino acid units from the repeat region of circumsporozoite protein of Plasmodium berghei (PbCS3R) fused to red fluorescent protein (monomeric DsRed) was chosen as a vaccine candidate antigen. Immunoblot and fluorescence microscopic analyses showed the transgene expression in the female salivary gland. The transgene product was released from the proboscis as a component of saliva. The monomeric DsRed-fusion expression system could be suitable for transgene secretion in the saliva of female mosquitoes. Mice repeatedly bitten by transgenic mosquitoes raised antibodies against P. berghei sporozoites, and the sera had protective ability against sporozoite invasion of human hepatoma HepG2 cells. These results suggest that transgene products are immunogenically active in saliva, and induce the antibodies to malaria parasite. These findings indicate that this technology has the potential for production of a ‘flying vaccinator’ for rodent malaria parasites.