UC Riverside Researchers to Target Mosquito Egg Production to Curtail Disease

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Mosquito Egg Production photo
Alexander Raikhel (seated) and Sourav Roy have received a five-year grant of $2.44  million  from  the  National    Institute  of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
PHOTO CREDIT: EMRE AKSOY, UC RIVERSIDE

Five-year NIAID grant will support an ongoing study

By Iqbal Pittalwala

Entomologists at the University of California, Riverside have received a five-year grant of $2.44 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to investigate the role hormones play in the female mosquito’s ability to use human blood for egg production.

Vector mosquitoes need vertebrate blood to develop each batch of their eggs. As a result, reproduction in female mosquitoes is closely linked to blood feeding.

Mosquitoes pose an enormous threat to humans on a global scale, killing about a million people each year. They serve as vectors for malaria, dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus. The menace of mosquito-borne diseases has increased over the years due to fast-growing insecticide resistance, social complexities, climate change, and the lack of effective vaccines.

The research project will allow the UCR entomologists to identify targets that can block the reproduction of female mosquitoes, thereby resulting in significant declines in mosquito populations and the dangerous diseases they transmit. The funding will allow the entomologists to introduce novel research tools for genetic manipulation, such as CRISPR, in their research.

For more information, please visit: https://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/54516

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