Open Access Open Badges Research article

Anopheles salivary gland proteomes from major malaria vectors

Albin Fontaine1, Thierry Fusaï1, Sébastien Briolant1, Sylvain Buffet2, Claude Villard3, Emilie Baudelet4, Mathieu Pophillat5, Samuel Granjeaud6, Christophe Rogier17 and Lionel Almeras12*

Author affiliations

1 Unité de Parasitologie – UMR6236, URMITE – IFR48, Antenne Marseille de l’Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées (IRBA), BP 60109, Marseille Cedex 07, 13 262, France

2 Unité de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE), UMR 6236, Faculté de médecine, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, Marseille cedex 5, 13385, France

3 Plateau Protéomique Timone, FRE CNRS 2737 CISMET, université Aix-Marseille II, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, Marseille cedex 5, 13385, France

4 Plateforme de Spectrométrie de Masse et de Protéomique, Centre de Recherche en Cancérologie de Marseille, U1068, INSERM/Institut Paoli-Calmettes, 27 Bd Leï Roure, Marseille Cedex 9, BP 30059, 13273, France

5 Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille Luminy (CIML), Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université de la Méditerranée, Parc Scientifique de Luminy, Case 906, Marseille Cedex 9, Marseille, 13288, France

6 TAGC INSERM ERM 206, Parc Scientifique de Luminy, Case 928, Marseille Cedex 9, 13288, France

7 Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, B.P. 1274, Antananarivo, 101, Madagascar

For all author emails, please log on.

Citation and License

BMC Genomics 2012, 13:614  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-614

Published: 13 November 2012



Antibody responses against Anopheles salivary proteins can indicate individual exposure to bites of malaria vectors. The extent to which these salivary proteins are species-specific is not entirely resolved. Thus, a better knowledge of the diversity among salivary protein repertoires from various malaria vector species is necessary to select relevant genus-, subgenus- and/or species-specific salivary antigens. Such antigens could be used for quantitative (mosquito density) and qualitative (mosquito species) immunological evaluation of malaria vectors/host contact. In this study, salivary gland protein repertoires (sialomes) from several Anopheles species were compared using in silico analysis and proteomics. The antigenic diversity of salivary gland proteins among different Anopheles species was also examined.


In silico analysis of secreted salivary gland protein sequences retrieved from an NCBInr database of six Anopheles species belonging to the Cellia subgenus (An. gambiae, An. arabiensis, An. stephensi and An. funestus) and Nyssorhynchus subgenus (An. albimanus and An. darlingi) displayed a higher degree of similarity compared to salivary proteins from closely related Anopheles species. Additionally, computational hierarchical clustering allowed identification of genus-, subgenus- and species-specific salivary proteins. Proteomic and immunoblot analyses performed on salivary gland extracts from four Anopheles species (An. gambiae, An. arabiensis, An. stephensi and An. albimanus) indicated that heterogeneity of the salivary proteome and antigenic proteins was lower among closely related anopheline species and increased with phylogenetic distance.


This is the first report on the diversity of the salivary protein repertoire among species from the Anopheles genus at the protein level. This work demonstrates that a molecular diversity is exhibited among salivary proteins from closely related species despite their common pharmacological activities. The involvement of these proteins as antigenic candidates for genus-, subgenus- or species-specific immunological evaluation of individual exposure to Anopheles bites is discussed.

Anopheles; Salivary proteins; Sequence alignment; Biomarkers; Malaria vectors; Protein diversity