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The FAPESP-Keele network phase 3: understanding the relationship between drought and dengue epidemics: the role of the FOXO pathway on hydric stress, immune responses and vector competence of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Abstract

Our long-term general objective is to test the potential impact of drought on the mosquito immune response to pathogens and gut microbiota. To do so we will combine experimental manipulations of hydric stress with infections with Dengue virus (DENV) in the Yellow Fever mosquito Aedes aegypti. The mosquito stress and immune response and changes in its gut microbiota will then be described through transcriptomic and 16S rRNA metagenomic studies. Finally, we will use a functional approach by knocking down components of the FOXO pathway and assessing how this impacts mosquito immune response to pathogens and gut microbiota. Two of Prof. Tripet's Masters students from the Keele University MSc. Program on Molecular Parasitology and Vector Biology are already working at IBTEC under Prof. Souza-Neto's co-supervision on the functional RNAi assays involving the FOXO pathway. During Prof. Tripet's visit, we will aim especially at standardizing the hydric stress assays at IBTEC. (AU)