Research Topic

The Arms Race Between Vectors and Human Pathogens

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About this Research Topic

Emerging or (re)-surging diseases include those transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and Zika. The WHO estimates that 50% of the world’s population is at risk of vector-borne diseases.
Mosquitoes acquire pathogens causing these diseases as a by-product of ...

Emerging or (re)-surging diseases include those transmitted to humans by mosquitoes, such as malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and Zika. The WHO estimates that 50% of the world’s population is at risk of vector-borne diseases.
Mosquitoes acquire pathogens causing these diseases as a by-product of blood-feeding and deliver them to a new host through a subsequent blood-meal. Pathogens replicate and diffuse in the mosquito body at various degree and sometimes establish persistent infections. This necessary and intimate relationship between pathogens and vectors has long been investigated as an example of a co-evolutionary arm-race. Additionally, propositions to leverage this knowledge into strategies for the control of pathogen transmission by vectors have been formulated given the public health relevance of mosquito-borne diseases.
The application of omics approaches to mosquitoes, the development of synthetic biology, the improvement of insect genome editing and novel powerful population genomics methods are beginning to shed light on the complex arm-race between vectors and human pathogens and offering opportunities for the development of novel transmission-blocking strategies.

With this research topic, we aim at promoting knowledge from recent advancements in the field of “vector-pathogen interaction” and fostering discussion regarding the use of this information for the development and field-implementation of novel vector control approaches. As a consequence, we welcome Original Research articles, Review, Perspectives and commentaries from areas of vector biology, with a focus on:

• Symbionts and paratransgenesis: studying the effects of microbiome on mosquito’s vector competence and vectorial capacity, and the potential application of bacteria to tackle mosquito-borne diseases.
• Genome editing: manipulation of the mosquito genome using molecular biology tools to support vector control either by population suppression or population modification strategies.
• Population genetics: identifying the interactions and variability in viral/parasite diversity and mosquito populations.
• Genomics and mathematical modelling: using mathematical models to elucidate the interplay of viral/parasite genomics and mosquito populations or mathematical approaches to aid in the implementation of novel vector control strategies based on the genome editing of vectors.


Keywords: Arthropod vectors, Arboviruses, Malaria, Genomics, Transgenesis


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