Ashutosh (Ash) Pathak

About the Technical Director

Ashutosh (Ash) Pathak is interested in the role of biotic and abiotic factors in modulating survival, growth, and reproduction of parasites in their hosts. Although his current research focus is on vector-borne diseases, primarily malaria 1-5, he retains a keen interest in parasites (pathogens to some) that are transmitted directly or environmentally 6-8. Ash relies on his background in the concepts and techniques of biomedicine to address questions within an ecology and evolutionary framework. Some questions that motivate him….

How do biotic and abiotic factors regulate population dynamics of pathogens within and between hosts?

To what extent do parasites and their hosts vary naturally in response to these factors?

What are the genotypic and/or phenotypic mechanisms driving this variation?

Anti-parasitic/pathogen drugs and vaccines seek to reduce parasite densities in the human or vector; can their efficacy also depend on biotic and abiotic factors?

When is parasite density (“quantity”) less important than “quality”, and why?

Can we exploit bottlenecks in parasite life-history for managing parasite transmission and disease?

Representative publications

  1. Shiau, J.C., Garcia-Diaz, N., Kyle, D.E. & Pathak, A.K. Oviposition status and sugar availability influence measures of transmission potential in malaria-infected mosquitoes. bioRxiv 2024.01.25.577126; doi:10.1101/2024.01.25.577126 (2024).
  2. Pathak, A. K., Shiau, J. C., de Freitas, C. R. S. & Kyle, D. E. Blood meals from ‘dead-end’ vertebrate hosts enhance transmission potential of malaria-infected mosquitoes. One Health 17, 100582, doi:10.1016/j.onehlt.2023.100582 (2023).
  3. Pathak, A. K. et al. Streamlining sporozoite isolation from mosquitoes by leveraging the dynamics of migration to the salivary glands. Malar J 21, 264, doi:10.1186/s12936-022-04270-y (2022).
  4. Pathak, A. K., Shiau, J. C., Thomas, M. B. & Murdock, C. C. Field Relevant Variation in Ambient Temperature Modifies Density-Dependent Establishment of Plasmodium falciparum Gametocytes in Mosquitoes. Front Microbiol 10, 2651, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2019.02651 (2019).
  5. Pathak, A. K., Shiau, J. C., Thomas, M. B. & Murdock, C. C. Cryogenically preserved RBCs support gametocytogenesis of Plasmodium falciparum in vitro and gametogenesis in mosquitoes. Malar J 17, 457, doi:10.1186/s12936-018-2612-y (2018).
  6. Reitmayer, C. M., Pathak, A.K. et al. Sex, age, and parental harmonic convergence behavior affect the immune performance of Aedes aegypti. Commun Biol 4, 723, doi:10.1038/s42003-021-02236-5 (2021).
  7. Nguyen*, N. T. D., Pathak*, A. K. & Cattadori, I. M. Gastrointestinal helminths increase Bordetella bronchiseptica shedding and host variation in supershedding. elife 11, 2021.2005.2006.442912, doi:10.7554/eLife.70347 (2022).
  8. Cattadori, I. M., Pathak, A. & Boag, B. Processes generating heterogeneities in infection and transmission in a parasite–rabbit system. Wildlife Disease Ecology, 598-622, doi:10.1017/9781316479964.021 (2019).
  9. Lambert*, K. A., Pathak*, A. K. & Cattadori, I. M. Does host immunity influence helminth egg hatchability in the environment? J Helminthol 89, 446-452, doi:10.1017/S0022149X14000273 (2015).

* joint primary authors

For a full list of publications, visit my Google Scholar page