The Scholars

of the WANIDA network

WANIDA > Scholars > Fatoumata Seck

Study program :
Doctorate in Medical Entomology

ACE affiliated :
ITECH-MTV, Burkina Faso

Thesis title :
Search for small molecule inhibitors targeting reproductive proteins of
Anopheles gambiae s.l. as an innovative way to reduce malaria transmission.

WANIDA > Scholars > Fatoumata Seck

Starting year :

Problem statement :
Malaria is a major health problem. The dual resistance of mosquitoes to the insecticides used in vector control, and of parasites to antimalarial drugs, raises concerns about the limitations of current malaria control tools. This situation calls for the development of additional strategies.
Insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying are the cornerstone of vector control, reducing mosquito density. In this study, we are looking for an alternative to the use of insecticides. Methods aimed at reducing mosquito fertility are new, and direct sterilization of wild females could be a potential avenue.
Effector molecules targeting essential proteins of the malaria parasite can block its development in mosquitoes, so the question here is how Anopheles reproductive proteins are targeted to induce sterility.

Expected result:
This project aims to reduce malaria vectors by determining how to directly sterilize wild mosquitoes in the field. We will

  • Identifying candidate proteins involved in the reproductive success ofAnopheles gambiae s.l. and characterize their genetic diversity in sub-Saharan African populations
  • Design small molecule inhibitors targeting the active sites of these Anopheles reproductive proteins.anopheles.
  • Test the effects of potential reproductive protein inhibitors on females.

Impact :
This approach could provide an innovative and adapted vector control tool, based on the genomics of the
anopheles by targeting their reproductive system. The advantage is the ease of application of the small-molecule inhibitor, which can be impregnated into mosquito nets, sprayed on walls, and introduced into mosquito populations by contaminating food, resting or breeding sites.

Supervisor :
Pr. Ibrahima Dia (Institut Pasteur de Dakar, Senegal)

Co-supervisor :
Dr. Benoit Assogba Sessinou (MRC Gambia Unit at LSHTM)
Prof. Abdoulaye Diabaté (ACE ITECH-MTV /IRSS-Centre Muraz, Burkina)