Lee Haines

The mosquito microbiome: a bridge between vector control and antimicrobial resistance

Research has revealed that some insects survive exposure to lethal insecticides thanks to specific bacterial species in their microbiome. Some bacterial species that detoxify insecticides can also survive exposure to antibiotics. I will investigate whether the An. gambiae microbiota can change how well this malaria-transmitting mosquito survives when tested in insecticide-resistance bioassays, before and after antibiotic treatment. I will validate and expand my pilot study by a) isolating and characterising the bacteria that colonise lab-reared insecticide-resistant mosquito midguts, b) comparing insecticide resistance profiles of microbe-cured mosquitoes (using antibiotics) to controls and c) screening mosquito-isolated bacteria for insecticide- and antibiotic-degrading capabilities.