Xanthurenic acid (XA) has been implicated as an inducer in vivo of exflagellation in Plasmodium spp. Consequently, the development of Plasmodium gallinaceum was assessed in a white-eye mosquito strain, khw, of Aedes aegypti (L.), which is deficient in XA because of a mutation of the gene encoding the enzyme kynurenine hydroxylase, and in a transformed line of khw mosquitoes that carry the wild-type cn gene of Drosophila melanogaster Meigen and express a functional enzyme necessary for XA production. Although XA was not detectable in khw mosquitoes by using high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection, parasites were able to develop. Transformed khw mosquitoes failed to consistently support parasite development at higher prevalences and mean intensities than did the nontransformed khw lines, even though XA was detectable. These data suggest that factors other than XA may play a role in initiating Plasmodium development in vivo.
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Vol. 43 • No. 2