Using a heritable immunostimulatory bacterium to block heartworm transmission by mosquitoes
Summary: Researchers will investigate the use of a bacteria to help block transmission of heartworm parasites by mosquitoes.
Description: More than 150,000 cases of canine heartworm disease are reported annually in the United States alone. Monthly preventive treatments for dogs have been widely available since the mid-19805. However, drug-resistant strains are on the rise, highlighting the need for novel disease control strategies. Researchers will investigate how infection by certain bacteria decreases the capacity of mosquitoes to transmit infectious larvae of Dirofilaria immitis, the agent of heartworm disease. Bacteria-infected mosquitoes (and control groups) will be exposed to both drug-sensitive and drug-resistant parasites. The team hopes findings will provide a new approach to block the spread of the heartworm disease by targeting parasites in their mosquito host.
Co-sponsored with the Morris Animal Foundation, Grant Number: DZ2CA·015
Michael Povelones; University of Pennsylvania