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Molecular Entomology

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HomeResearch DivisionsMolecular Entomology
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Molecular Entomology

Head of the Division: Dr. (Mrs) V. Vasuki, Scientist-E

Development of molecular tools/Biosensor for detecting filarial infection in vectors

Development of xenomonitoring protocol as a surveillance & evaluation tool for major vector borne diseases during their elimination:

  • Bancroftian Filariasis
  • Brugian Filariasis
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Malaria

Research Areas

Zoology, Molecular biology, Molecular Entomology, Molecular mechanism of insecticide resistance

Staff List
Sr. No.Name of the staffDesignation
1Dr. (Mrs) V. VasukiHOD & Scientist-E
2Dr. Prasanta Saini(Adjunct Scientist/Officer-in-charge, ICMR-VCRC FS, Kottayam)
3Mr. R. BalasubramaniyanTechnical Officer-B
4Mr. S. MuthukumaravelTechnical Officer- B
5Mrs. M. ShaburaTechnician-2
6P. ShanthakumarTechnician-2
Ongoing Projects

Ongoing Projects

  • Development of a xenomonitoring protocol for monitoring and evaluation of Brugia malayi transmission [IM 1901]
  • Development of Monitoring and Evaluation of protocol for accelerated MDA with IDA for lymphatic filariasis elimination programme (M&E-IDA) [EM 1916]
  • Adaptation, validation and application of LYMFASIM model to predict the risk of resurgence following stopping MDA based on transmission assessment survey (TAS) [EM 1509]
  • Genetic diversity of Phlebotomus argentipes from different bio-geographical zones of India in relation to leishmaniasis endmicity
Patents
  • Patent granted: "A process for the diagnosis of infective (L3) stage larvae of Wuchereria bancrofti in vector mosquito Culex qinquefaciatus" (Indian Patent No. 257150) granted on 06.09.2013.
  • Patent filed: "A process for the Electrochemical Detection of Lymphatic Filarial Infection in Vector Mosquitoes". Provisional filing of this invention was on October 01, 2019 with the Application No. 201911039806. Executed Form 1 and Executed Form 26 have been e-filed at IPO on December 07, 2019.Complete Filing is under process.
Significant research findings/contributions
  • Validated molecular xenomonitoring protocol for the detection of Wuchereria bancrofti (i) infection and (ii) infectivity in the vector mosquitoes at PHC, Subdistrict, district level and also in districts with three different epidemiological situations
  • Developed and evaluated a simple DNA extraction method for high-throughput detection of filarial parasite Wuchereria bancrofti in the vector mosquitoes by real time PCR assay as a molecular xenomonitoring tool for post MDA surveillance
  • Development of an electrochemical biosensor for the detection of lymphatic filarial parasite, Wuchereria bancrofti in vectors
  • Validated the stage-specific RT-PCR assay for the detection of infective stage (L3) larvae of Wuchereria bancrofti in the vector mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus on multi-centric mode
  • Developed a stage-specific RT-PCR assay for the detection of infective stage (L3) larvae of Wuchereria bancrofti in the vector mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus, as a potential xenomonitoring tool for the detection of infectivity of vector mosquitoes in making decision during post MDA situation.
  • Developed a simple, rapid, safe and cost-effective DNA extraction method for the detection of filarial parasites, W. bancrofti and B. malayi in their respective vectors Culex quinquefasciatus and Aedes aegypti (Liverpool strain) by PCR assay
  • Optimized the PCR assay based on region II of the para-type sodium channel gene for monitoring kdr resistance in malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles culicifacies.
  • Reported for the first time the failure of the penetration process during feeding in IGR treated female mosquitoes and the inhibition in feeding process of mosquitoes has great implication in the transmission of vector borne diseases.
  • Evaluated the sublethal effects of IGRs on biological control agents such as Mesocyclops, Romanomermis iyengari, predatory insects and larvivorous fishes.
  • Assessed the sublethal effects of IGRs on the biology and behavior of three species of mosquitoes, Culex quinquefasciatus, Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi, major vectors of filariasis, Dengue & Chikungunya and Malaria respectively.
Infrastructure (Labs)
  • Molecular Biology & Entomology – Room No.125
  • Molecular Biology Instrumentation: Genetic analyser, Real time PCR and conventional PCR
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