New Strategy for Malaria Control Uses Non-Toxic Steroid Agonists Interview with:


Dr. Catteruccia

Flaminia Catteruccia PhD
Associate Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases
Boston, Massachusetts 02115 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Mosquito control via lethal insecticides is a key method for reduction of malaria transmission. As insecticide resistance is spreading, new intervention methods are urgent. Our study demonstrates that studies on mosquito biology can provide novel, much needed tools for malaria control. We show how key aspects of mosquito physiology and Plasmodium development can be significantly disrupted in the female Anopheles mosquito by agonists of the insect steroid hormone 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E). Modeling of the data predicts that the integration of 20E agonists in malaria control programs would significantly reduce malaria prevalence to a similar extent as insecticides, but without imposing severe costs to mosquito populations What should readers take away from your report?

Response: This study provides a new strategy for malaria control based on the use of non-toxic steroid hormone agonists, especially needed in areas of widespread resistance to insecticides. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: This is the first demonstration that interfering with the normal function of the steroid hormone 20E can help control malaria transmission via modifications of different aspects of mosquito and parasite biology. The next steps will be exploring how these or similar compounds can be effectively used to target parasite transmission in the field Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Disrupting Mosquito Reproduction and Parasite Development for Malaria Control
Lauren M. Childs , Francisco Y. Cai , Evdoxia G. Kakani , Sara N. Mitchell, Doug Paton, Paolo Gabrieli, Caroline O. Buckee ,Flaminia Catteruccia
PLOS Pathogens Published: December 15, 2016

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Last Updated on December 18, 2016 by Marie Benz MD FAAD