Insecticide resistance (IR) is now widespread across many parts of the world which are reliant on public health insecticides to curb vector borne diseases. For example, over 80% of the reductions in malaria incidence between 2000 and 2015 were attributed to insecticide-based interventions, such as insecticide treated bed nets and indoor residual spraying. The use of insecticides leads to intensive selection pressure on the mosquito vectors, leading to high levels of IR.
IR in the major malaria vector species complex (Anopheles gambiae) is caused by five characterised resistance mechanisms (Figure 1) but is likely much more complex. For example, sub-lethal insecticide exposure, which occurs in areas with high levels of resistance, results in huge changes to the underlying transcriptome of Anopheles mosquitoes. Further, numerous lines of evidence indicate that this sub-lethal exposure results in large changes in underlying biology, such as changes in microbiome or redox state.
My research group investigates the impact of the insecticide resistance phenotype on Plasmodium development in vivo. Changes to mosquito biology and potential exposure to insecticidal compounds are likely to have huge impacts on the development of the malaria parasite within the mosquito vector (Figure 2). To address this, we combine bioinformatics and molecular biology to identify the pathways and genes important in these processes and characterise their effects on the two major phenotypes: vector competence and IR status.
List of publications
Brown F, Paton DG, Catteruccia F, Ranson H, Ingham VA. (2020) A steroid hormone agonist reduces female fitness in insecticide-resistant Anopheles populations. Insect Biochem Mol Biol. Jun;121:103372. doi: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2020.103372. Epub 2020 Apr 8. (PMID: 32276112)
Minetti C, Ingham VA, Ranson H. (2020) Effects of insecticide resistance and exposure on Plasmodium development in Anopheles mosquitoes. Curr Opin Insect Sci. Jun;39:42-49. doi: 10.1016/j.cois.2019.12.001. Epub 2020 Jan 30. (PMID: 32109860) Review.
Ingham VA, Bennett A, Peng D, Wagstaff SC, Ranson H. (2020) IR-TEx: An Open Source Data Integration Tool for Big Data Transcriptomics Designed for the Malaria Vector Anopheles gambiae. J Vis Exp. Jan 15;(155). doi: 10.3791/60721. (PMID: 32009657)
Ingham VA, Anthousi A, Douris V, Harding NJ, Lycett G, Morris M, Vontas J, Ranson H. (2020) A sensory appendage protein protects malaria vectors from pyrethroids. Nature. Jan;577(7790):376-380. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1864-1. Epub 2019 Dec 25. (PMID: 31875852) Free PMC article.
Williams J, Flood L, Praulins G, Ingham VA, Morgan J, Lees RS, Ranson H. (2019) Characterisation of Anopheles strains used for laboratory screening of new vector control products. Parasit Vectors. Nov 5;12(1):522. doi: 10.1186/s13071-019-3774-3. (PMID: 31690332) Free PMC article.
Ingham VA, Wagstaff S, Ranson H. (2018) Transcriptomic meta-signatures identified in Anopheles gambiae populations reveal previously undetected insecticide resistance mechanisms. Nat Commun. 2018 Dec 11;9(1):5282. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07615-x. (PMID: 30538253) Free PMC article.
Pignatelli P, Ingham VA, Balabanidou V, Vontas J, Lycett G, Ranson H. (2018) The Anopheles gambiae ATP-binding cassette transporter family: phylogenetic analysis and tissue localization provide clues on function and role in insecticide resistance. Insect Mol Biol. 2018 Feb;27(1):110-122. doi: 10.1111/imb.12351. Epub 2017 Oct 25. (PMID: 29068552)
Ingham VA, Pignatelli P, Moore JD, Wagstaff S, Ranson H. (2017) The transcription factor Maf-S regulates metabolic resistance to insecticides in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. BMC Genomics. 2017 Aug 30;18(1):669. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-4086-7. (PMID: 28854876) Free PMC article.
Ingham VA, Jones CM, Pignatelli P, Balabanidou V, Vontas J, Wagstaff SC, Moore JD, Ranson H. (2014) Dissecting the organ specificity of insecticide resistance candidate genes in Anopheles gambiae: known and novel candidate genes. BMC Genomics. 2014 Nov 25;15(1):1018. doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-15-1018.(PMID: 25421852) Free PMC article.