Prince Chigozirim Ubiaru
Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Research title: Genetics of malaria parasite-mosquito vector interactions
My PhD will investigate the genetic basis of the interaction of the human malaria parasite (Plasmodium falciparum) in the mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles albimanus. The main aim is to identify the genetic loci which control refractoriness in An. albimanus against P. falciparum.
I will utilise a linkage analysis approach (quantitative locus analysis) to identify parasite genes involved in mosquito refractoriness to human malaria parasites. The mosquitoes An. gambiae (African) and An. albimanus (South American) vary in their susceptibility to P. falciparum. A genetic cross was made between two parasite clones which differed in their ability to be transmitted by An. albimanus, and many recombinant progeny are available. I will phenotype these progeny clones for infection phenotypes in the two mosquito species. I will then use quantitative locus analysis to identify the parasite genomic region(s) involved in the susceptibility or refractoriness of P. falciparum in Anopheles albimanus.
A second objective of my PhD is to investigate the mechanism of refractoriness in An. albimanus against the P. falciparum. Here I am interested to understand how and at what point in the infection mosquito-stage parasites are blocked from infecting An. albimanus but are able to successfully establish and grow in An. gambiae.
Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Nigeria)
Genomic Epidemiology of Malaria 2021