Comparative assessment of An. gambiae and An. stephensi mosquitoes to determine transmission-reducing activity of antibodies against P. falciparum sexual stage antigens

Abstract : Background: With the increasing interest in vaccines to interrupt malaria transmission, there is a demand for harmonization of current methods to assess Plasmodium transmission in laboratory settings. Potential vaccine candidates are currently tested in the standard membrane feeding assay (SMFA) that commonly relies on Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes. Other mosquito species including Anopheles gambiae are the dominant malaria vectors for Plasmodium falciparum in sub-Saharan Africa. Methods: Using human serum and monoclonal pre-fertilization (anti-Pfs48/45) and post-fertilization (anti-Pfs25) antibodies known to effectively inhibit sporogony, we directly compared SMFA based estimates of transmission-reducing activity (TRA) for An. stephensi and An. gambiae mosquitoes. Results: In the absence of transmission-reducing antibodies, average numbers of oocysts were similar between An. gambiae and An. stephensi. Antibody-mediated TRA was strongly correlated between both mosquito species, and absolute TRA estimates for pre-fertilisation monoclonal antibodies (mAb) showed no significant difference between the two species. TRA estimates for IgG of naturally exposed individuals and partially effective concentrations of anti-Pfs25 mAb were higher for An. stephensi than for An. gambiae. Conclusion: Our findings support the use of An. stephensi in the SMFA for target prioritization. As a vaccine moves through product development, better estimates of TRA and transmission-blocking activity (TBA) may need to be obtained in epidemiologically relevant parasite-species combination.
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Maarten Eldering, Anaïs Bompard, Kazutoyo Miura, Will Stone, Isabelle Morlais, et al.. Comparative assessment of An. gambiae and An. stephensi mosquitoes to determine transmission-reducing activity of antibodies against P. falciparum sexual stage antigens. Parasites and Vectors, BioMed Central, 2017, 10, pp.489. ⟨10.1186/s13071-017-2414-z⟩. ⟨hal-02007473⟩

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