Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine
Innate immunity to malaria and malaria transmission
General areas of research in the laboratory include: the molecular cell biology and biochemistry of malaria parasite transmission, the functional characterization of the immunological crosstalk and cell signaling that occurs between the mosquito and the mammalian host during bloodfeeding, and the impact of endemic co-infections on malaria parasite development and transmission. Specific research projects include: the conserved signal transduction pathways involved in anti-parasite host innate immunity; systems biology and function of immune factors and cell signaling pathways that are activated between mosquitoes and their mammalian hosts at the interface of bloodfeeding; mechanistic studies of enhanced pathology of HIV and non-typhoidal Salmonella co-infection with malaria.
Grad Group Affiliations
- Biochemistry, Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology
- Immunology Entomology
- Integrative Genetics and Genomics
- Mali, Cameroon, Kenya, Colombia
Honors and Awards
- Justin Morrill Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate Education, Virginia Tech, 2004
- Maramorosch Lecturer, Distinguished Alumnus invited seminar, Rutgers University, 2001
- Outstanding Mentor Award, Consortium for Women and Research, UC Davis, 2012
- American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
- Sigma Xi
- Entomological Society of America
- American Association of Immunologists
- American Society for Microbiology
- 1995 PhD Entomology Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Pietri JE, Pietri EJ, Potts R, Riehle MA, Luckhart S. Plasmodium falciparum suppresses the host immune response by inducing the synthesis of insulin-like peptides (ILPs) in the mosquito Anopheles stephensi. Dev Comp Immunol. 2015 Nov;53(1):134-44.
Mooney JP, Lokken KL, Byndloss MX, George MD, Velazquez EM, Faber F, Butler BP, Walker GT, Ali MM, Potts R, Tiffany C, Ahmer BM, Luckhart S, Tsolis RM. Inflammation-associated alterations to the intestinal microbiota reduce colonization resistance against non-typhoidal Salmonella during concurrent malaria parasite infection. Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 5;5:14603.
Luckhart S, Pakpour N, Giulivi C. Host-pathogen interactions in malaria: cross-kingdom signaling and mitochondrial regulation. Curr Opin Immunol. 2015 Oct;36:73-9.
Wang B, Pakpour N, Napoli E, Drexler A, Glennon EK, Surachetpong W, Cheung K, Aguirre A, Klyver JM, Lewis EE, Eigenheer R, Phinney BS, Giulivi C, Luckhart S. Anopheles stephensi p38 MAPK signaling regulates innate immunity and bioenergetics during Plasmodium falciparum infection. Parasit Vectors. 2015 Aug 19;8:424
Cator LJ, Pietri JE, Murdock CC, Ohm JR, Lewis EE, Read AF, Luckhart S, Thomas MB. Immune response and insulin signalling alter mosquito feeding behaviour to enhance malaria transmission potential. Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 8;5:11947
Neafsey DE, Waterhouse RM, Abai MR, Aganezov SS, Alekseyev MA, Allen JE, Amon J, Arcà B, Arensburger P, Artemov G....Luckhart S, Muskavitch MA, Ribeiro JM, Riehle MA, Sharakhov IV, Tu Z, Zwiebel LJ, Besansky NJ. Mosquito genomics. Highly evolvable malaria vectors: the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquitoes. Science. 2015 Jan 2;347(6217):1258522.
Miller RH, Obuya CO, Wanja EW, Ogutu B, Waitumbi J, Luckhart S, Stewart VA. Characterization of Plasmodium ovale curtisi and P. ovale wallikeri in Western Kenya utilizing a novel species-specific real-time PCR assay. PLoS Negl Trop Dis.2015 Jan 15;9(1):e0003469.
Mooney JP, Butler BP, Lokken KL, Xavier MN, Chau JY, Schaltenberg N, Dandekar S, George MD, Santos RL, Luckhart S, Tsolis RM. The mucosal inflammatory response to non-typhoidal Salmonella in the intestine is blunted by IL-10 during concurrent malaria parasite infection. Mucosal Immunol. 2014 Nov;7(6):1302-11.
Pietri JE, Cheung KW, Luckhart S. Knockdown of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signalling in the midgut of Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes using antisense morpholinos. Insect Mol Biol. 2014 Oct;23(5):558-65.
Jiang X, Peery A, Hall AB, Sharma A, Chen XG, Waterhouse RM, Komissarov A, Riehle MM, Shouche Y, Sharakhova MV, Lawson D, Pakpour N, Arensburger P, Davidson VL, Eiglmeier K, Emrich S, George P, Kennedy RC, Mane SP, Maslen G, Oringanje C, Qi Y, Settlage R, Tojo M, Tubio JM, Unger MF, Wang B, Vernick KD, Ribeiro JM, James AA, Michel K, Riehle MA, Luckhart S, Sharakhov IV, Tu Z. Genome analysis of a major urban malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles stephensi. Genome Biol. 2014 Sep 23;15(9):459.
Pakpour N, Riehle MA, Luckhart S. Effects of ingested vertebrate-derived factors on insect immune responses. Curr Opin Insect Sci. 2014 Sep 1;3:1-5.
Murdock CC, Blanford S, Luckhart S, Thomas MB. Ambient temperature and dietary supplementation interact to shape mosquito vector competence for malaria. J Insect Physiol. 2014 Aug;67:37-44.
Brenton AA, Souvannaseng L, Cheung K, Anishchenko M, Brault AC, Luckhart S. Engineered single nucleotide polymorphisms in the mosquito MEK docking site alter Plasmodium berghei development in Anopheles gambiae. Parasit Vectors. 2014 Jun 23;7:287.
Drexler AL, Pietri JE, Pakpour N, Hauck E, Wang B, Glennon EK, Georgis M, Riehle MA, Luckhart S. Human IGF1 regulates midgut oxidative stress and epithelial homeostasis to balance lifespan and Plasmodium falciparum resistance in Anopheles stephensi. PLoS Pathog. 2014 Jun 26;10(6):e1004231.
Lokken KL, Mooney JP, Butler BP, Xavier MN, Chau JY, Schaltenberg N, Begum RH, Müller W, Luckhart S, Tsolis RM. Malaria parasite infection compromises control of concurrent systemic non-typhoidal Salmonella infection via IL-10-mediated alteration of myeloid cell function. PLoS Pathog. 2014 May 1;10(5):e1004049.
Naranjo-Díaz N, Altamiranda M, Luckhart S, Conn JE, Correa MM. Malaria vectors in ecologically heterogeneous localities of the Colombian Pacific region. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 4;9(8):e103769.
Naranjo-Diaz N, Rosero DA, Rua-Uribe G, Luckhart S, Correa MM. Abundance, behavior and entomological inoculation rates of anthropophilic anophelines from a primary Colombian malaria endemic area. Parasit Vectors. 2013 Mar 7;6:61.
Luckhart S, Giulivi C, Drexler AL, Antonova-Koch Y, Sakaguchi D, Napoli E, Wong S, Price MS, Eigenheer R, Phinney BS, Pakpour N, Pietri JE, Cheung K,Georgis M, Riehle M. Sustained activation of Akt elicits mitochondrial dysfunction to block Plasmodium falciparum infection in the mosquito host. PLoS Pathog. 2013 Feb;9(2):e1003180.
Pakpour N, Akman-Anderson L, Vodovotz Y, Luckhart S. The effects of ingested mammalian blood factors on vector arthropod immunity and physiology. Microbes Infect. 2013 Mar;15(3):243-54.