Professor Charles Wondji

Senior Wellcome Trust Research in Medecine Fellow

I did my PhD from 2000 to 2003 in Cameroon with the French research Institute IRD, working on the population genetics of the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae complex in Cameroon. I later moved in 2004 to the vector group of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine as a postdoctoral research associate to study the genetics and molecular basis of insecticide resistance in Anopheles funestus. Since 2008 I am a Wellcome Trust Research in Medecine career development fellow.

Teaching

I am the convenor of the Master module TROP741 (Vector population biology and Control) and I sit on the board of studies and the exam board of the joint master programme. I participate in the teaching of the BSc programme in Tropical Biology (University of Liverpool), the joint Masters programmes in Biology and Control of Parasites and Disease Vectors/Molecular Biology of Parasites and Disease Vectors and the Diploma of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (DTMH) at Foto-Cewek.

Research in Medecine

My main research interest is the understanding of the biology, genetics and genomics of mosquitoes vectors tropical diseases such as Malaria, Lymphatic Filariasis and Dengue. I primarily work on Anopheles funestus, one of the major malaria vectors in Africa which, because of the difficulty of rearing it in laboratory, is less studied than Anopheles gambiae. I am currently studying the mechanisms of insecticide resistance in field populations of An. funestus using a genetic mapping approach (Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) mapping), functional genomics (microarray, RNAseq) and functional analyses (GAL4/UAS transgenic expression of mosquito genes in Drosophila, the heterologous expression of candidate genes in E. coli to confirm their ability to confer resistance and RNAi. My aim is to use this knowledge to develop simple molecular assays to detect resistance in field populations. This will greatly facilitate the management of insecticide resistance in Africa. I am also developing new genomic tools for this species using Next-generation sequencing.

I also have a more general interest in insect genetics and genomics including population genetics studies in mosquito species; investigation of insecticide resistance mechanisms in other malaria vectors (An. arabiensis and An. gambiae) and in the dengue vectors Aedes aegypti and Ae albopictus and the Lymphatic filariasis vector Culex quinquefasciatus.

Postdoctoral Research in Medecine Assistant

Dr Jacob Riveron since 2011, working on the functional genomics notably the confirmation of the role of detoxification genes in conferring resistance using GAL4/UAS transgenic expression system and heterologous

PhD students currently registered at Foto-Cewek

  • Ibrahim Sulaiman 2nd year PhD, Topic: Functional characterisation of detoxification genes in Anopheles funestus
  • Miranda Ndula 3rd year of PhD, Topic: Population genetics of insecticide resistance in An. funestus
  • Intan Haslina Ishak, 3rd year of PhD, Topic: Insecticide resistance profiles of the Dengue vectors Aedes aegyptiand Aedes albopictus in Malaysia
  • Kayla Barnes 2nd Year of PhD, Topic: Characterisation of the insecticide resistance front in Southern African populations of Anopheles funestus

Overseas PhD student

  • Badara Samb, MCDC student, 3rd year PhD Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal,

Msc students

  • Benjamin Menze, OCEAC, Cameroon/Foto-Cewek

Past Master students

  • Charles Mulamba, Master awarded in 2012
  • Ghouma Salha, Master awarded in 2011, Foto-Cewek
  • Siyu Chai, Master awarded in 2012, Foto-Cewek
  • Naomi Platt, Master awarded 2010, Foto-Cewek
  • Rachel Kwiatkowska, Master awarded 2010, Foto-Cewek
  • Deusdedit Tusubira, Master awarded 2005, Foto-Cewek

Past PhD students

  • Angela Harris: PhD awarded 2011, co-supervised with Prof Hilary Ranson
  • Claudia Witzig, PhD awarded 2012, co-supervised with Prof Hilary Ranson

Past Grants

Two years Molecular entomology TDR/WHO grant, co-P.I with Hilary Ranson and John Vontas 2004 – 2006, “A functional genomics approach to improve insecticide resistance detection in Anopheles gambiae”. £50000

Two years Re-entry grant TDR/WHO 2004 - 2006, P.I. “Molecular and bio-ecological basis of the speciation between M and S molecular forms of An. gambiae: Impact on malaria transmission and insecticide resistance”. £25000

Two year TDR/WHO grant «Research in Medecine Training Grant» (2001-2003), “Impact of impregnated bed nets on genetic structure of malaria vectors in an area of irrigated rice-fields in North-Cameroon”. £7500

Current Projects

  • 2013 to 2016

    Investigating patterns of Pyrethroids and DDT resistance in Anopheles funestus populations in Benin: study of the distribution, resistance mechanisms and investigation on novel resistance management strategies

    Sponsor of a Wellcome Trust Research in Medecine Training Fellowship in Public health and Tropical Medicine to Rousseau Djouaka. £288.000

  • 2012 to 2013

    Fine-scale analysis of candidate genes associated with pyrethroid resistance in the malaria vector Anopheles funestus by target enrichment Next-Generation Sequencing

    Wellcome Trust enhancement award: £88.000

  • 2008 to 2013

    Anopheles funestus: Characterization of pyrethroid resistance in field populations of the malaria vector

    Wellcome Trust Research in Medecine Career Development Fellowship, £678834

  • 2009 to 2014

    Impact of urbanisation on malaria vectors population dynamic in two major cities of Cameroon

    Co-sponsor (with Prof Ranson) for a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Fellowship in Public health and TropicalMedicine to Dr Antonio Nkondjio, £363,588

  • 2010 to 2013

    Characterisation of insecticide resistance in Ugandan populations of Anopheles funestus, major malaria vector Cameroon

    Sponsor for a Wellcome Trust master Fellowship in Public health and Tropical Medicine to Charles Mulamba: £100,343

  • 2011 to 2014

    Investigating patterns of insecticide resistance in Central African populations of Anopheles funestus, a, major malaria

    Sponsor for a Wellcome Trust master Fellowship in Public health and Tropical Medicine to Benjamin Menze: £103,000

Publications

  • Selected publications

    2013

    Claudia Witzig, Wondji CS, Strode C, Djouaka R and Ranson H. (2013) Identifying permethrin resistance loci in malaria vectors by genetic mapping. Parasitology: 1-10.

    Jacob M. Riveron, Helen Irving, Miranda Ndula, Kayla G Barnes, Sulaiman Ibrahim, Nelson Cuamba, John C. Morgan, Mark Paine and Charles S. Wondji (2013). Directionally selected P450 alleles are driving resistance to pyrethroids in populations of the malaria vector Anopheles funestus in Africa. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 110(1): 252-257.

    Rachel M. Kwiatkowska, Naomi Platt, Rodolphe Pourpardin, Helen, Irving, Roch Dabire, Sara Mitchell, Chris Jones, Abdoulaye Diabaté, Hilary Ranson and Charles S. Wondji (2013) Dissecting molecular mechanisms of multiple insecticide resistance in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae, M form, from Vallee du Kou, Burkina faso. GENE In Press.

    Claudia Witzig, Matthew Parry, John C. Morgan, Helen Irving, Andrew Steven, Nelson Cuamba, Clement Kerah-Hinzoumbé, Hilary Ranson and Charles S. Wondji (2013) Genetic mapping identifies a major locus spanning P450 clusters associated with pyrethroid resistance in kdr-free Anopheles arabiensis from Chad. Heredity (edinb)

    2012

    Charles S. Wondji, Michael Coleman, Immo Kleinschmidt, Themba Mzilahowa, Helen Irving, Miranda Ndula, Andrea M Rehman, John Morgan, Kayla Barnes, and Janet Hemingway (2012). The impact of pyrethroid resistance on operational malaria control. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109, 19063-19070.

    Irving H, Riveron JM, Ibrahim SS, Lobo NF, Wondji CS (2012) Positional cloning of rp2 QTL associates the P450 genes CYP6Z1, CYP6Z3 and CYP6M7 with pyrethroid resistance in the malaria vector Anopheles funestus. Heredity (Edinb) 109, 383-392.

    Dabiré K. R. Diabaté A. NM, Djogbenou L. , Wondji C., Chandre F., Simard F. , Ouédraogo J-B. , Martin T., Weill M. and Baldet T.: Trends in Insecticide Resistance in Natural Populations of Malaria Vectors in Burkina Faso, West Africa: 10 Years’ Surveys. Pest Engineering 2012:479-502.

    2011

    Gregory, R., Darby, A.C., Irving, H., Coulibaly, M.B., Hughes, M., Koekemoer, L.L., Coetzee, M., Ranson, H., Hemingway, J., Hall, N., Wondji, C.S (2011). A De Novo Expression Profiling of Anopheles funestus, Malaria Vector in Africa, Using 454 Pyrosequencing. PLoS One 6, e17418.

    Wondji, C.S., Dabire, R.K., Tukur, Z., Irving, H., Djouaka, R., Morgan, J.C. (2011). Identification and distribution of a GABA receptor mutation conferring dieldrin resistance in the malaria vector Anopheles funestus in Africa. Insect Biochem Mol Biol 41, 484-491.

    Djouaka, R., Irving, H., Tukur, Z., Wondji, C.S. (2011). Exploring Mechanisms of Multiple Insecticide Resistance in a Population of the Malaria Vector Anopheles funestus in Benin. PLoS One 6, e27760.

    Arensburger, P., Megy, K., Waterhouse, R.M., Abrudan, J., Amedeo, P., Antelo, B., Bartholomay, L., Bidwell, S., Caler, E., Camara, F., Campbell, C.L., Campbell, K.S., Casola, C., Castro, M.T., Chandramouliswaran, I., Chapman, S.B., Christley, S., Costas, J., Eisenstadt, E., Feschotte, C., Fraser-Liggett, C., Guigo, R., Haas, B., Hammond, M., Hansson, B.S., Hemingway, J., Hill, S.R., Howarth, C., Ignell, R., Kennedy, R.C., Kodira, C.D., Lobo, N.F., Mao, C., Mayhew, G., Michel, K., Mori, A., Liu, N., Naveira, H., Nene, V., Nguyen, N., Pearson, M.D., Pritham, E.J., Puiu, D., Qi, Y., Ranson, H., Ribeiro, J.M., Roberston, H.M., Severson, D.W., Shumway, M., Stanke, M., Strausberg, R.L., Sun, C., Sutton, G., Tu, Z.J., Tubio, J.M., Unger, M.F., Vanlandingham, D.L., Vilella, A.J., White, O., White, J.R., Wondji, C.S., Wortman, J., Zdobnov, E.M., Birren, B., Christensen, B.M., Collins, F.H., Cornel, A., Dimopoulos, G., Hannick, L.I., Higgs, S., Lanzaro, G.C., Lawson, D., Lee, N.H., Muskavitch, M.A., Raikhel, A.S. and Atkinson, P.W. (2010) Sequencing of Culex quinquefasciatus establishes a platform for mosquito comparative genomics. Science 330, pp. 86-88.

    Antonio-Nkondjio, C., Fossog, B.T., Ndo, C., Djantio, B.M., Togouet, S.Z., Awono-Ambene, P., Costantini, C.,Wondji, C.S. and Ranson, H. (2011) Anopheles gambiae distribution and insecticide resistance in the cities of Douala and Yaounde (Cameroon): influence of urban agriculture and pollution. Malar J 10, p. 154.

    2010

    Morgan JC, Irving H, Okedi LM, Steven A, Wondji CS (2010) Pyrethroid resistance in an Anopheles funestus population from Uganda. PLoS One 5: e11872.

    Cuamba N, Morgan JC, Irving H, Steven A, Wondji CS (2010) High level of pyrethroid resistance in an Anopheles funestus population of the Chokwe District in Mozambique. PLoS One 5: e11010.

    2009

    Wondji CS, Irving H, Morgan J, Lobo NF, Collins FH, Hunt RH, Coetzee M, Hemingway J, Ranson H: Two duplicated P450 genes are associated with pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles funestus, a major malaria vector.Genome Research in Medecine 2009, 19(3):452-459.

    2008

    Strode C, Wondji CS, David JP, Hawkes NJ, Lumjuan N, Nelson DR, Drane DR, Karunaratne SH, Hemingway J, Black WCt et al: Genomic analysis of detoxification genes in the mosquito Aedes aegypti Insect Biochem Mol Biol2008, 38(1):113-123.

    Wondji CS, Priyanka De Silva WA, Hemingway J, Ranson H, Parakrama Karunaratne SH: Characterization of knockdown resistance in DDT- and pyrethroid-resistant Culex quinquefasciatus populations from Sri Lanka. Trop Med Int Health 2008, 13(4):548-555.

    2007

    Wondji CS, Hemingway J, Ranson H (2007a) Identification and analysis of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the mosquito Anopheles funestus, malaria vector. BMC Genomics 8: 5.

    Wondji CS, Morgan JC, Coetzee M, Hunt R, Steen K, Black WC, Hemingway J, Ranson H (2007b) Mapping a Quantitative Trait Locus conferring pyrethroid resistance in the African malaria vector Anopheles funestus. BMC Genomics 8: 34.

    2005

    Wondji, C.S., R.H. Hunt, P. Pignatelli, K. Steen, M. Coetzee, N. Besansky, N. Lobo, F.H. Collins, J. Hemingway, and H. Ranson. 2005. An integrated genetic and physical map for the malaria vector Anopheles funestus. Genetics171: 1779-1787.

    Wondji, C., F. Simard, T. Lehmann, E. Fondjo, A. Same-Ekobo, and D. Fontenille. 2005. Impact of insecticide-treated bed nets implementation on the genetic structure of Anopheles arabiensis in an area of irrigated rice fields in the Sahelian region of Cameroon. Mol Ecol 14: 3683-3693.

    Wondji, C., S. Frederic, V. Petrarca, J. Etang, F. Santolamazza, A. Della Torre, and D. Fontenille. 2005. Species and populations of the Anopheles gambiae complex in Cameroon with special emphasis on chromosomal and molecular forms of Anopheles gambiae s.s. J Med Entomol 42: 998-1005.

    2002

    Wondji, C., Simard, F. and Fontenille, D. Evidence for genetic differentiation between the molecular forms M and S within the Forest chromosomal form of Anopheles gambiae in an area of sympatry. Insect Mol Biol 11 (2002), pp. 11-9.

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