Anopheles gambiae Circumsporozoite Protein–Binding Protein Facilitates Plasmodium Infection of Mosquito Salivary Glands

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Malaria, a mosquito-borne disease caused by Plasmodium species, causes substantial morbidity and mortality throughout the world. Plasmodium sporozoites mature in oocysts formed in the mosquito gut wall and then invade the salivary glands, where they remain until transmitted to the vertebrate host during a mosquito bite. The Plasmodium circumsporozoite protein (CSP) binds to salivary glands and plays a role in the invasion of this organ by sporozoites. We identified an Anopheles salivary gland protein, named CSP-binding protein (CSPBP), that interacts with CSP. Downregulation of CSPBP in mosquito salivary glands inhibited invasion by Plasmodium organisms. In vivo bioassays showed that mosquitoes that were fed blood with CSPBP antibody displayed a 25% and 90% reduction in the parasite load in infected salivary glands 14 and 18 days after the blood meal, respectively. These results suggest that CSPBP is important for the infection of the mosquito salivary gland by Plasmodium organisms and that blocking CSPBP can interfere with the Plasmodium life cycle.

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