Fighting malaria: Scientists have learned to reduce the mosquito life twice


02/01/2009

It is known that adult mosquitoes spreading malaria. Taking into account this fact, the Australian researchers decided to find a way to reduce the life expectancy of pests without using dangerous pesticides to human health.

As an alternative to the large-scale spraying of insecticides, scientists have developed techniques of genetic modification of mosquitoes in order to enhance insect resistance to diseases such as fever and malaria. Recently, however, researchers have proposed a simple approach to the problem: it is necessary to reduce the lifespan of mosquitoes, infecting their particular parasite that causes early death of insects.

Once the mosquito becomes infected with fever or malaria, it takes about two weeks incubation period before the insect can spread the disease-causing microorganisms, biting people, and this means that the most dangerous are the older mosquitoes.

Earlier, Australian researchers have found that one species of fruit fly (Drosophila) are frequently infected with the bacterial strain of the parasite, which shortens its life by half. Experimenting with the parasite, the scientists infected mosquito species named Aedes aegypti, spreading dengue fever. In the laboratory, has been cultivated for generations of infected mosquitoes.

As a result, the mosquitoes are born with the parasite, even in favorable laboratory lived only 21 days compared with 50 days for normal, uninfected insects.

According to scientists, the mosquitoes tend to die sooner in the wild than in the laboratory. For example, if able to spread widely parasite, such an approach may be cost-effective way to control and dengue.

Theoretically, it can work. The researchers note that the parasitic bacterium called Wolbachia, is quite common among arthropod species, including some types of mosquitoes, other than those that spread the fever and malaria. Bacterial strains are inherited only through infected female individuals, and quick adaptability to new conditions can help them quickly gain a foothold in a new population of mosquitoes.

It is likely that the virus will evolve fever, reducing the incubation period and adapting to the premature death of their owners. But it will be less of a problem than with the ever-increasing resistance of mosquitos to different insecticides. Only our informers tell the news on the latest news.

Original: Physorg.com


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