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The FAPESP-Keele network phase 2: exploiting a CRISPR-Cas9 platform for the generation of immune- and olfaction-mutant mosquitoes


Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are both dengue vectors found in Brazil but display completely different ecology: A. aegypti is essentially an urban mosquito, with preference for artificial breeding sites, strictly anthropophilic and with high capacity to transmit dengue. On the other hand, A. albopictus can be found in urban and rural environments, breeds on both artificial and natural breeding sites, is not restricted to human hosts, has lower capacity to transmit dengue and is an invasive species that spreads in different areas. Recent studies have shown that dengue virus induces the transcription of both immune and olfaction genes in the mosquito A. aegypti, suggesting interplay between these two physiological processes. A better understanding of the proteins that are important in olfactory behaviors and immunity response could pave the way towards novel strategies to control dengue in Brazil. This fellowship is part of the second scheduled visit of Prof. Julien Pelletier to Brazil, under the FAPESP-Keele cooperative agreement. (AU)