Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Thwarting Flies – III OmpA Banned

Mosquito gut activity affected by removing a protein called ompA from their gut bacteria

25 January 2020

OmpA Banned

Mosquitoes are a menace. Their bites alone are enough to get under anyone’s skin, but it's their capacity to transmit diseases such as dengue and Zika that cause the most serious problems. In the ongoing battle to subdue these deadly passengers carried by mosquitoes, researchers have been investigating how they settle in the insect gut. Using a new tool, they genetically modified a particular protein (ompA, which helps form the outer layer of bacterial cells) belonging to bacteria common in mosquitoes, Cedecea neteri. The altered bacteria couldn’t form a film on the inside of the gut as it usually does (red in the adult mosquito gut pictured), highlighting the protein’s importance. As well as illustrating the role of this protein in the bacteria-mosquito interaction, the experiment showcased how this approach to genetic modification could be further used to investigate, and then counter, many mosquito-borne infections.

Written by Anthony Lewis

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.