A special issue of Pathogens and Global Health, published by Maney Publishing, investigates different approaches to eradicate mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquitoes can transmit a number of pathogenic diseases including dengue fever, yellow fever, and malaria.
Anopheles Gambiae mosquitoes are the major carrier of human malaria. They are responsible for a hundred million cases worldwide and the death of an estimated 700 million children. In spite of recent success, current vector control measures face a number of hurdles due to increased resistance to insecticides and lack of resources. The new investigation by Dottorini et al. presented in the latest issue of Pathogens and Global Health offers a unique insight into the molecular mechanisms controlling the reproductive behaviour of this mosquito species. The authors show that the knockdown of a gene controlling the production of seminal fluid proteins produced in the male accessory gland (MAG) dramatically affects the female propensity to re-mate as well as the viability of the offspring. These findings shed new light on the molecular mechanism regulating the reproductive biology of mosquitoes and have the potential to disclose new clues for developing chemical and genetic vector control measures.
In the same issue, a study by Bandi et al. reports on the tick-associated bacterium Midichloria mitochondrii. It is the sole microbe capable of invading and multiplying inside the mitochondria. The team led by the University of Milan developed an antigen-based method to search for signs of Midichloria infection in humans. This study revealed that the majority of the patients parasitized by the tick Ixodes ricinus have antibodies againstMidichloria bacteria in their blood, while healthy subjects are generally negative. The study highlights that Midichloria should be considered as a new potential infectious agent, and provides the tools for its search/diagnosis in humans and animals. Different neurological disorders and other degenerative pathologies of unknown cause have been suggested to be associated with tick parasitism and with mitochondrial dysfunction. Midichloria infection should now be investigated as a possible risk factor in the development of these pathologies.
Further to the theme of vector control in Pathogens and Global Health's latest issue, a review by Favia et al.surveys the control methods that use Symbiotic Control (SC). The rapid spread of both insecticide - resistant mosquitoes and drug resistant pathogens, associated to lack of vaccines, pushes the development of innovative control methods for mosquito borne diseases. In this context, in the few last years, a lot of attention has been addressed to the so-called Symbiotic Control. This represents a bulk of novel control methods that use symbionts of insect vectors and pests to the management as well as of the control of the pathogens they transmit. The review Symbiotic Control of Mosquito Borne Diseases examines the most advanced applications as well as the most fascinating perspectives of using symbionts to control mosquito-borne diseases. In particular, this review focuses on the fast and growing progress recently made in the field of the SC of mosquito-borne diseases, elucidating the reasons for the optimism that accompanies this approach becoming widely applicable for field testing within the next decade.