The Spirovector project was initiated to develop vector transmission blocking strategies that utilize insect-endosymbiotic bacteria.
The insect-endosymbiontic Spiroplasmas are known for their ability to protect insects against parasites and are of great interest for their potential utility for vector transmission blocking in Africa, where many diseases of humans and livestock are cause by insect-vectored parasites.
We have been screening populations of numerous disease vectors throughout Kenya and have identified numerous Spiroplasmas strains that are of significant interest. Notably, Spiroplasma strains have been discovered in Anopheles mosquitos (the major vectors of human malaria).
In Phase II of the project the impact of Anopheline Spiroplasmas on malaria vector competence will be investigated. These discoveries are an important step in the longer term vision to develop endosymbiotic microbes as a strategy that prevent the transmission insect-vectored parasites that are of great concern for public health and economic development in Africa.
For more information, contact:
- R. Geigy Foundation
- Swiss National Science foundation
- Wellcome Trust, UK