The effect of Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis infection on ovarian protein accumulation by Anopheles stephensi
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Both anopheline and culicine mosquitoes have been shown to incur a reduction in reproductive fitness when infected with malaria parasites. The agent of rodent malaria, Plasmodium yoelii nigeriensis, was used as a laboratory model to investigate changes in the accumulation of protein in the ovaries of Anopheles stephensi when infected with oocysts or when feeding on mice with heavy asexual parasitaemia but no mature gametocytes. Herein we report that during the early phases of the gonotrophic cycle the ovarian protein content increased normally; however, after 16 h post-blood-feeding there was a significant reduction in the total protein content in ovaries from infected mosquitoes. The development of ovaries from mosquitoes undergoing a second gonotrophic cycle and containing maturing oocysts was similarly affected. Ovarian protein profiles produced by sodi- um dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis showed a depletion of the yolk protein vitellin. Ovaries from mosquitoes feeding on a mouse with 31 % parasitaemia, no detectable gametocytes and a low haematocrit (29 % packed cell volume) also exhibited a reduction in protein content, although this did not occur until much later in the gonotrophic cycle. The role of blood-meal quality and malaria infection in the reduction in egg production is discussed.
KeywordsMalaria Plasmodium Malaria Infection Total Protein Content Packed Cell Volume
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