NIAID supports a wide range of vector-related research, including activities to better understand the process of transmission of pathogens via arthropod vectors. As part of this effort, NIAID brings together a multidisciplinary group of investigators from the fields of vector biology, parasite immunology, and human immunology to dissect the complex process of pathogen transmission at the intersection of the human host, the arthropod vector, and the pathogen.
Areas of interest include but are not limited to
- How vector-derived factors in saliva impact the transmission of vector-borne pathogens to humans (effect on the pathogen and pathogenesis and on the human immune system, especially dermal immune cells)
- The effect of human (vertebrate) immune factors ingested with the blood meal on the pathogen and on mosquito biology (survival/fertility)
- How pathogens and vector interact, especially the effect of vector immune response on the pathogen, its transmission and pathogenesis in the vertebrate host
- How basic research in this area can be translated to prevent transmission (i.e., vaccine development)
The below list represents examples of select articles of interest to the vector immunology research community. This list is limited to articles published by NIAID scientists and NIH-funded researchers.
- Shaw DK et al. Infection-derived lipids elicit an immune deficiency circuit in arthropods. Nat Commun. 2017 Feb 14;8:14401. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14401.
- Oliveira F et al. A sand fly salivary protein vaccine shows efficacy against vector-transmitted cutaneous leishmaniasis in nonhuman primates. Sci Transl Med. 2015 Jun 3;7(290):290ra90. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa3043.
- Rinker DC et al. Blood meal-induced changes to antennal transcriptome profiles reveal shifts in odor sensitivities in Anopheles gambiae. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013 May 14;110(20):8260-5. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302562110. Epub 2013 Apr 29.
- Cirimotich CM et al. (2011). Natural microbe-mediated refractoriness to Plasmodium infection in Anopheles gambiae. Science 332(6031): 855-8.
- Gomes R and Oliveira F (2012). The immune response to sand fly salivary proteins and its influence on leishmania immunity. Front Immunol 3: 110.
- Heinze DM et al. (2012). Early immunologic events at the tick-host interface. PLoS One 7(10): e47301.
- Ribeiro JM and Francischetti IM. (2003). Role of arthropod saliva in blood feeding: sialome and post-sialome perspectives. Annu Rev Entomol 48: 73-88.
- Tsujimoto H et al. (2012). Simukunin from the salivary glands of the black fly Simulium vittatum inhibits enzymes that regulate clotting and inflammatory responses. PLoS One 7(2): e29964.
- Weiss B and Aksoy S. (2011). Microbiome influences on insect host vector competence. Trends Parasitol 27(11): 514-22.
Each year, NIAID hosts meetings on topics related to vector-host interactions. The meetings are usually held at 5601 Fisher’s Lane in Rockville, MD and are targeted to those in the scientific community with expertise relevant to the topic(s) of the meeting. The meeting goals are to bring together experts from different fields of vector-related research, encourage collaboration, and address timely issues related to vector biology studies.
The 2017 meeting, "Kinks in the Armor: A multidisciplinary approach to understand the immune barriers of the skin", will explore innovative multidisciplinary ideas to study the activation and/or suppression of vertebrate host skin immune cells after exposure to arthropod (vector) saliva/bite.
Past meetings have varied in topics and have included:
- Kinks in the Armor: Bypassing the Immune Barriers of the Skin
- Translational Considerations for Novel Vector Management Approaches
- Arthropod Vectors and Disease Transmission: Translational Aspects
- The Arthropod Vector: The Controller of Transmission
- Wikel, Stephen, Aksoy, Serap, Dimopoulos, George. Arthropod Vector: Controller of Disease Transmission, Volume 1. 1st Edition. Vector Microbiome and Innate Immunity of Arthropods. Academic Press, 2017.
- Wikel, Stephen, Aksoy, Serap, Dimopoulos, George. Arthropod Vector: Controller of Disease Transmission, Volume 2. 1st Edition. Vector Saliva-Host-Pathogen Interactions. Academic Press, 2017.
- Effect of Vector Innate Immunity and Human-Derived Immune Molecules on the Transmission of Vector-Borne Pathogens
- Role of immune cell subsets in the establishment of vector-borne infections
- Immunologic Consequences of Vector Derived Factors
For more information on previous and upcoming workshops, please email Adriana Costero-Saint Denis.