Midgut Mitochondrial Function as a Gatekeeper for Malaria Parasite Infection and Development in the Mosquito Host

Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Dec 11:10:593159. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.593159. eCollection 2020.


Across diverse organisms, various physiologies are profoundly regulated by mitochondrial function, which is defined by mitochondrial fusion, biogenesis, oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and mitophagy. Based on our data and significant published studies from Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster and mammals, we propose that midgut mitochondria control midgut health and the health of other tissues in vector mosquitoes. Specifically, we argue that trade-offs among resistance to infection, metabolism, lifespan, and reproduction in vector mosquitoes are fundamentally controlled both locally and systemically by midgut mitochondrial function.

Keywords: Anopheles; Plasmodium; immunity; malaria; midgut; mitochondria; mosquito; resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anopheles*
  • Drosophila melanogaster
  • Host-Parasite Interactions
  • Malaria*
  • Mitochondria
  • Mosquito Vectors