Flying vaccinator; a transgenic mosquito delivers a Leishmania vaccine via blood feeding.
'Flying vaccinator' is the concept of using genetically engineered hematophagous insects to deliver vaccines. Here we show the generation of a transgenic anopheline mosquito that expresses the Leishmania vaccine candidate, SP15, fused to monomeric red fluorescent protein (mDsRed) in its salivary glands. Importantly, mice bitten repeatedly by the transgenic mosquitoes raised anti-SP15 antibodies, indicating delivery of SP15 via blood feeding with its immunogenicity intact. Thus, this technology makes possible the generation of transgenic mosquitoes that match the original concept of a 'flying vaccinator'. However, medical safety issues and concerns about informed consent mitigate the use of the 'flying vaccinator' as a method to deliver vaccines. We propose that this expression system could be applied to elucidate saliva-malaria sporozoite interactions.DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2583.2010.01000.x