Impact of Antibiotic Use on Malaria Transmission

Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is caused by a protozoan parasite of the genus Plasmodium and threatens half of the world’s population, causing almost 1 million deaths every year. In the absence of a preventive vaccine, mosquito control interventions such as bed nets and insecticides are currently the best measures to reduce malaria transmission. Antibiotics are frequently used to treat febrile people in malaria-endemic countries, especially when the exact cause of fever cannot be diagnosed. A concept that has received much attention recently is blocking transmission of the disease by targeting the parasite inside the mosquito. In this webinar, Dr. Mathilde Gendrin will discuss recent laboratory studies with antibiotic-treated mosquitos to determine the influence of the mosquito gut microbiota on parasite development and the prevalence and intensity of Plasmodium infection.

Dr. Gendrin will also present research from her group, which is using a rodent malaria infection model to determine how the presence of antibiotics in the blood may influence the dynamics and composition of the mosquito gut microbiota, and potentially impact Plasmodium infection. She will discuss the results from proof-of-concept experiments and studies into the effect of frequently-used antibiotics in malaria endemic-countries on mosquito gut microbiota and Plasmodium infection.

Dr. Mathilde Gendrin

Mathilde Gendrin carried out her Ph.D. studies in the laboratory of Professor Bruno Lemaitre at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) in Gif-sur-Yvette, France and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, using Drosophila as a model host to study host-pathogen interactions. She focused on the local immune responses of Drosophila and their links with the systemic immune response, and identified a novel mode of genital infection that induces both a local response of the genital tract and a systemic response. She also showed that bacterial peptidoglycan acts as a signal of infection that diffuses into the body cavity and induces a remote systemic response. In addition, she investigated the function of the Peptidoglycan Recognition Protein-LA and showed that it functions as a positive regulator of the epithelial immune response. Dr. Gendrin joined the group of George Christophides at Imperial College London in May 2011 to investigate the role of the mosquito gut microbiota in the interactions between mosquitoes and malaria parasites.