A well-known idiom dictates “prevention is better than cure”. There are neither vaccines nor therapeutic treatments available for many arthropod-borne diseases. Currently, the only method of preventing pathogen transmission is to act on the vectors by suppressing their contact to humans, for instance by use of insecticides, or by altering their vector competence. My presentation will focus on vector competence in the dengue vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. First, I will discuss my work on transcriptional changes occurring in mosquitoes following dengue infection. Then, I will talk about my bioinformatics analyses of the genome of Ae. albopictus, which led to the discovery of genome integrations from Flaviviruses. Finally, I will combine these results in my recently founded project on the co-evolution between Ae. albopictus and Flaviviruses. In the last part of my talk, I will touch upon my research on mechanisms of insecticide resistance in the malaria vector An. gambiae, which led to the identification of several candidate resistance genes.
Speaker Biography - Mariangela Bonizzoni, Ph.D.
Mariangela Bonizzoni, Ph.D.
Department of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Pavia, Italy
Dr. Mariangela Bonizzoni is Associate Professor of Zoology at the Department of Biology and Biotechnology of the University of Pavia, Italy. She received her PhD degree in 2004 from the University of Pavia and the Universite’ de Paris XI, with a combined Italian-French program sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Education, Research and University. Dr Bonizzoni’s research focuses on arthropod-borne infectious diseases, with particular emphasis on interactions between the pathogens and their arthropod hosts. She also is interested in the adaptation of vectors to currently available strategies of control. She is author of 43 peer-review publications. In 2012 Dr Bonizzoni was awarded a NIHR21 grant to study the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. In 2015, she was awarded a European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant to study the co-evolution between the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus and Flaviviruses.
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