This proposal from a new investigator is directed towards the characterization of 4 molecules from immune-activated Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Using MALDI-TOF MS in collaboration with P. Bulet (CNRS, Strasbourg, France), the PI has obtained evidence for at least 15 immune-inducible peptides in Ae. aegypti. Preliminary data support the analysis of a cecropin (CEC), a protein active against Gram negative bacteria (GR), a proline-rich peptide (PRO) and a 690 Da molecule (M690). Genes encoding these four molecules will be cloned, using PCR and related technologies, and the antimicrobial spectrum of the peptides will be determined. Finally, the proteins will be expressed in mosquitoes using a Sindbis vector, and the mosquitoes will subsequently be exposed to an infectious bloodmeal (Plasmodium gallinaceum and Brugia malayi) to determine the effects of the peptides, alone and in combination, on parasite development.
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