POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES IN LAST 24 HOURS (9.22.2021, 5:06pm CEST, WHO):   U.S. 202,840    India 26,964    Brazil 7,884    United Kingdom 31,095    Russia 19,706    Turkey 29,338    France 7,465    Iran 17,564    Argentina 2,162    Columbia 1,185    Italy 3,374    Indonesia 2,720    Germany 10,454    Mexico 3,367    Philippines 16,361    Ukraine 6,754    Malaysia 15,759    Netherlands 1,694    Iraq 3,081    Japan 2,004    Canada 12,724    Bangladesh 1,376    Thailand 11,252    Israel 4,800    Pakistan 1,897    Romania 7,045    Sweden 1,162    Kazakhstan 2,728    Morocco 1,848    Serbia 7,232    Cuba 8,289    Nepal 1,251    Austria 1,242    Vietnam 11,692    Greece 3,688    Georgia 2,016    Belarus 1,917    Costa Rica 1,514    Bulgaria 2,192    Azerbaijan 1,594    Myanmar 1,818    Palestine 1,977    Slovakia 1,180    Croatia 1,812    Ireland 1,420    Honduras 2,114    Venezuela 1,201    Libya 1,038    Lithuania 1,429    South Korea 1,720    Slovenia 1,308    Mongolia 3,416    Moldova 1,300    China 47    Singapore 1,178    New Zealand 24    Australia 1,643   

Genetic tweaks in mosquitoes might curb malaria transmission

Staff Writer |
Two new methods of genetic modification may reduce the risk of mosquitoes spreading the infectious disease malaria to people, researchers report.

Article continues below






Malaria kills more than 400,000 people worldwide each year. It's a disease that's transmitted by mosquitoes to people.

The majority of those who die from the disease are children aged 5 and under in sub-Saharan Africa.

The first of the two new approaches came from a study team led by Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena. He's a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore.

The researchers used a strain of bacteria that can spread rapidly in mosquitoes.

The bacteria can also remain long-term in malaria-carrying mosquitoes. A genetically modified version of the bacteria inhibits development of the malaria parasite.

That means the chances that the mosquitoes can transmit these parasites to people are lessened.

A second research team studied a method involving a genetic modification that strengthens the immune system of malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

The idea was that this would suppress malaria parasites in the insects. And if there were fewer parasites in the mosquitoes, there would be fewer parasites for them to transmit to humans.

This research team, led by George Dimopoulos of the Bloomberg School's department of molecular microbiology and immunology, found that there were fewer parasites after the genetic modification to the immune system.

However, the genetic modification also changed the mosquitoes' mating preferences.

How that happened surprised the researchers. They expected that the genetic modifications would make the immune system stronger, but the alteration also changed the insects' "microbiota" - their natural bacteria balance.


What to read next

Malaria on the rise in Venezuela, official figures unknown
Another type of mosquito may carry Zika
New malaria test could lead to global eradication of the disease