Enhanced transmission of malaria parasites to mosquitoes in a murine model of type 2 diabetes

Nazzy Pakpour, Kong Wai Cheung, Shirley Luckhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: More than half of the world's population is at risk of malaria and simultaneously, many malaria-endemic regions are facing dramatic increases in the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Studies in murine malaria models have examined the impact of malaria infection on type 2 diabetes pathology, it remains unclear how this chronic metabolic disorder impacts the transmission of malaria. In this report, the ability type 2 diabetic rodents infected with malaria to transmit parasites to Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes is quantified. Methods: The infection prevalence and intensity of An. stephensi mosquitoes that fed upon control or type 2 diabetic C57BL/6 db/db mice infected with either lethal Plasmodium berghei NK65 or non-lethal Plasmodium yoelii 17XNL murine malaria strains were determined. Daily parasitaemias were also recorded. Results: A higher percentage of mosquitoes (87.5 vs 61.5 % for P. yoelii and 76.9 vs 50 % for P. berghei) became infected following blood feeding on Plasmodium-infected type 2 diabetic mice compared to mosquitoes that fed on infected control animals, despite no significant differences in circulating gametocyte levels. Conclusions: These results suggest that type 2 diabetic mice infected with malaria are more efficient at infecting mosquitoes, raising the question of whether a similar synergy exists in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number231
JournalMalaria Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 21 2016


  • Anopheles
  • Malaria
  • Mosquito
  • Plasmodium berghei
  • Plasmodium yoelii
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Parasitology


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