A micro-organism which prevents Malaria is discovered

Henrietta Strickland
May 5, 2020

The next big challenge will be how to spread Microsporidia MB through the general mosquito population - The researchers believe at least 40 per cent of all mosquitoes in the region would need to be infected with Microsporidia MB in order to reduce malaria infections in humans.

We use cookies to give you the best online experience. However, when mosquitoes were maintained under conditions representing more realistic temperature variation - ranging from a few degrees above and below 80°F - there was significant variation in vector competence, with approximately 88% of evening biters, 65% of midnight biters and 13% of morning biters testing positive for parasites in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes.

The team discovered that a new type of spore-forming single-celled microbe found in mosquitoes, which they've called Microsporidia MB, has the fantastic ability to stop the transmission of Plasmodium falciparum - the parasitic protozoan which causes most malaria cases.

These were the details of the news Scientists find "breakthrough" malaria microbe that can stop virus for this day.

Jeremy Herren, lead researcher at the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), said that mosquitoes carry a microbe that does not harbor malaria parasites. Subsequent laboratory experiments revealed the microbe seemed to actively prevent Plasmodium infection in mosquitoes. Even when they let the mosquitoes drink infected blood, the mosquitoes with Microsporidia MB had reduced levels of infection and no signs of the malaria parasite's spores were detected.

This micro-organism which prevents Malaria live in the bodies of insects in areas close to the Victoria Lake in Kenya and scientists identify it as Microsporidia.

Simply put, the mosquitoes are most likely to become infectious with and transmit malaria in the early evening, followed by midnight then the morning.

More than four hundred thousand persons across the world die of Malaria annually and a majority of them are children under the age of 5 years. It could also make changes to the insect's metabolism, making their bodies less hospitable to malaria parasites.

While experts are still trying to understand how the microbe spreads, they add that they appear to be life-long, suggesting that their malaria-blocking effect would also be long-lasting.

Herren noted that the research focused on microbial symbiont to see if they are interfering with transmission of diseases by insects.

So, the researchers are investigating two main strategies for increasing the number of infected mosquitoes. A naturally occurring bacterium called Wolbachia has been extensively used to control mosquito populations in the United States and Australia.

"It's a new discovery", says Steven Sinkins, a researcher from the University of Glasgow working on the project. "This is a strong indication that current control measures are insufficient and additional novel strategies to control Anopheles mosquito populations or their capacity to transmit Plasmodium parasites are needed if we are to make further inroads in reducing malaria incidence".

However, these approaches are relatively uncontroversial as the species is already found in wild mosquitoes and is not introducing something new. This is part of other strategies like a killer fungus that can nearly completely collapse mosquito populations in weeks.

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