A mosquito salivary gland protein partially inhibits Plasmodium sporozoite cell traversal and transmission

Tyler R. Schleicher, Jing Yang, Marianna Freudzon, Alison Rembisz, Samuel Craft, Madeleine Hamilton, Morven Graham, Godfree Mlambo, Abhai Tripathi, Yue Li, Peter Cresswell, Photini Sinnis, George Dimopoulos, Erol Fikrig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The key step during the initiation of malaria is for motile Plasmodium parasites to exit the host dermis and infect the liver. During transmission, the parasites in the form of sporozoites, are injected together with mosquito saliva into the skin. However, the contribution of vector saliva to sporozoite activity during the establishment of the initial infection of the liver is poorly understood. Here we identify a vector protein by mass spectrometry, with similarity to the human gamma interferon inducible thiol reductase (GILT), that is associated with saliva sporozoites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes and has a negative impact on the speed and cell traversal activity of Plasmodium. This protein, referred to as mosquito GILT (mosGILT) represents an example of a protein found in mosquito saliva that may negatively influence sporozoite movement in the host and could lead to new approaches to prevent malaria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2908
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Schleicher, T. R., Yang, J., Freudzon, M., Rembisz, A., Craft, S., Hamilton, M., Graham, M., Mlambo, G., Tripathi, A., Li, Y., Cresswell, P., Sinnis, P., Dimopoulos, G., & Fikrig, E. (2018). A mosquito salivary gland protein partially inhibits Plasmodium sporozoite cell traversal and transmission. Nature Communications, 9(1), [2908]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-05374-3