Parasitology

Dr. Jewelna E. B. Akorli

Dr. Jewelna E. B. Akorli

Parasitology Department

Name :  JEWELNA EFUA BIRGAO AKORLI (PhD)

Research Area Strengths: Entomology, Metagenomics, Genomics, Vector-borne diseases

Email(s): jakorli@noguchi.ug.edu.gh ; jewelna.akorli@gmail.com

Research Group(s): Vector Research Groups, Malaria , Neglected Tropical Diseases

 

Ongoing Research:

Project title: Anti-Plasmodial mechanisms of mosquito gut bacteria isolated from field-caught malaria vectors.

Amount:  £ 19,926

Agency: CAPREx Fellowship/ALBORADA Research Fund

Date: 19/06/17 – 13/01/19

Role: PI

Project title: The Noguchi Institute Initiative for NTDs Elimination (NIINE)

Agency: NIH/NIAID

Amount: $ 1,688,927

Date: 14/04/17 – 31/03/22

Role: Co-investigator

Project title: The role of dominant midgut bacteria isolated from Anopheles mosquitoes in Ghana in larval development and susceptibility to Plasmodium infection.

Agency: Wellcome-Trust DELTAS Postdoctoral Programme

Amount: $ 150,000

Date: 01/04/16 – 31/03/19

Role: PI

 

Affiliated Departments/Institutions:

  • Department of Parasitology, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana.
  • West African Centre for Cell Biology of Infectious Pathogens, University of Ghana
  • Department of Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK

Professional Organizations:

2018-2022            Affiliate, African Academy of Sciences

Research Interests

I am generally interested in understanding vector-parasite interactions, and how these govern vector competence and shape disease epidemiology. My current work aims to understand the role of natural endosymbionts in the life history of natural populations of mosquitoes and how these can be harnessed as bio-control mechanisms to reduce disease transmission. This forms part of an overall goal to contribute feasible and innovative methods for future disease control. I aim to achieve this through the use of advanced molecular and genomic tools.

I am using metagenomics to identify symbionts of natural populations of mosquito vectors, studying the effect of the environment on their existence, their functions in vector competence, and their mechanism of action within the vectors. I hope to expand these studies to other vectors of disease such as leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis.

Besides medical entomology, I also have interests in research on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). I support such studies with knowledge of molecular techniques to understand drug resistance, improve molecular diagnoses and epidemiology.

 

Current Research Supervision:

MPhils:

2017-2018            Lilian Chiamaka Ezemuoka

MPhil Entomology, African Regional Postgraduate Programme in Insect Science.

Thesis title: “The Effect of Gut Microbiota on Mosquito Fitness”

 

2017-2019            Godwin Williams Ametsi

MPhil Molecular and Cell Biology of Infectious Diseases, WACCBIP

Tentative thesis title: “In vitro studies of the effect of Anopheles gambiae midgut bacteria on development of Plasmodium falciparum

 

Keywords:

  • Medical entomology
  • Microbiota
  • Vector-borne diseases
  • Metagenomics
  • NTDs
  • Drug resistance
  • Molecular epidemiology

Key/Notable Publications

  1. King S, Onayifeke B, Akorli J, Chabi J, Manful-Gwira T, Dadzie S, Suzuki T, Wilson M, Boakye D and deSouza D. The role of detoxification enzymes in the adaptation of the major malaria vector Anopheles gambiae to polluted water. J Med Ento 2017; 54(6): 1674-1683.
  2. Akorli J, Gendrin M, Pels NAP, Yeboah-Manu D, Christophides GK, and Wilson MD. Seasonality and locality affect the diversity of Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii midgut microbiota from Ghana. 2016. PLoS One. 11(6): e0157529. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0157529.
  3. de Souza DK, Shafiu SA, Akorli J, and Suzuki T. Evaluating triethylamine in the anaesthesia of Anopheles gambiae. African Entomol. 2016; 24(1): 236-240.
  4. Ariani C, Smith S, Osei-Poku J, Short K, Juneja, P, and Jiggins F. Environmental and Genetic Factors Determine Whether the Mosquito Aedes aegypti Lays Eggs Autogenously Without a Blood Meal. AJTMH 2015; 92(4): 715-721.
  5. Juneja P, Ariani, CV, Ho YS, Akorli J, Palmer WJ, Pain A and Jiggins FM. Exome and Transcriptome Sequencing of Aedes aegypti Identifies a Locus that Confers Resistance to Brugia malayi and Alters the Immune Response. PLoS Pathog 2015; 11(3): e1004765.
  6. Webster CL, Waldron FM, Robertson S, Crowson D, Ferrari G, Quintana JF, Brouqui J-M, Bayne EH, Longdon B, Buck AH, Lazzaro BP, Akorli J, Haddrill PR, and Obbard DJ. The Discovery, Distribution, and Evolution of Viruses Associated with Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS Bio 2015; 13(7): e1002210.
  7. de Souza DK, Osei-Poku J, Blum J, Baidoo H, Brown CA, Lawson BW, Wilson MD, Bockarie MJ, and Boakye DA. The Epidemiology of Lymphatic filariasis Prevalence in Ghana, Explained by the Possible Existence of Two Strains of Wuchereria bancrofti. Pan Afri Med J 2014; 17:133.
  8. Juneja P, Osei-Poku J, Ho YS, Ariani CV, Palmer WJ, Pain A, and Jiggins FM. Assembly of the Genome of the Disease Vector Aedes aegypti onto a Genetic Linkage Map Allows Mapping of Genes Affecting Disease Transmission. PLoS NTD 2014; 8(1): e2652.
  9. Osei-Poku J, Mbogo CM, Palmer, WJ and Jiggins FM. Deep Sequencing Reveals Extensive Variation in Gut Microbiota of Wild Mosquitoes from Kenya. Mol Ecol 2012; 21(20): 5138-50.
  1. Osei-Poku J, Han C, Mbogo CM and Jiggins FM. Identification of Wolbachia in Mosquito Disease Vectors. PLoS One 2012; 7 (11): e49922.

 

 

 

 

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