Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Global Health

Major Professor

Dennis E. Kyle


Anopheles, Artemisinin, Atovaquone, Drug Resistance and Transmission Blocking, Malaria


In order to reduce malaria prevalence worldwide, a better understanding of parasite transmission and the effect of drug resistance is needed. The effect of drug resistance on malaria transmission has been examined for some drugs, but not for mitochondrial inhibitors such as atovaquone and the current basis of malaria therapy, artemisinin. Therefore, the goal of this study was to produce gametocytes, the life cycle stage that transmits from mosquito to human, in several different drug resistant patient isolates as well as to determine the effect of drug resistance on gametocyte development and transmission. Previous studies have shown that the mutation that confers resistance to atovaquone, a common antimalarial, occurs de novo after treatment and transmission of this resistance is not seen in the field. Therefore, to determine whether or not the resistance mutation can be transmitted, mosquito-feeding experiments were conducted using atovaquone resistant parasites and resulting oocyst DNA was analyzed. In addition to these atovaquone studies, artemisinin resistant gametocytes were also grown in vitro and drug pressure was added to determine if resistance mechanisms affect gametocyte development. This study is the first examine gametocyte development in these resistant strains and the first to report that transmission of the atovaquone resistant mutation may be possible. However, data is currently inconclusive on the effect of artemisinin resistance on gametocyte development.

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