Immune interactions between mosquitoes and their hosts

P. F. Billingsley, J. Baird,J. A. Mitchell& C. Drakeley. Parasite Immunology 2006, 28, 143–153
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The intimate contact between mosquitoes and the immune system of their hosts is generally not considered important because of the transient nature of mosquito feeding. However, when hosts are exposed to many feeding mosquitoes, they develop immune responses against a range of salivary antigens. Understanding the importance of these responses will provide new tools for monitoring vector populations and identifying individuals at risk of mosquito-borne diseases, and allow the development of novel methods for monitoring control and mosquito-release programmes. Antibodies targeting the mosquito midgut are also important in the development of mosquito vaccines. The feasibility of this approach has been demonstrated and future research opportunities are considered in this review. The potential impact of mosquito vaccines is also discussed. Our understanding of the interplay between mosquitoes and the immune system of their hosts is still in its infancy, but it is clear that there is great potential for exploiting this interplay in the control of mosquito-borne diseases.