Skip to comments.Sickly mosquitoes stymie malaria’s spread - Researchers harness bacteria to cripple insects that...
Posted on 05/09/2013 2:21:30 PM PDT by neverdem
Researchers harness bacteria to cripple insects that transmit disease.
Scientists have engineered mosquitoes to carry a bacterium that confers resistance to the malaria parasite a long-sought advance that could eventually curb malaria cases in humans.
A team led by Zhiyong Xi, a medical entomologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, infected Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes with Wolbachia bacteria to produce insects that could pass the infection on to their offspring. Female mosquitoes that carried Wolbachia also bred with uninfected mates, the researchers report today in Science, swiftly spreading the malaria-blocking bacterium to entire insect populations within eight generations1.
This is the first paper reporting that it is indeed possible to use Wolbachia to control malaria, says geneticist Steven Sinkins of the University of Oxford, UK. But he cautions that field trials will be the real test of this advance.
Wolbachia has already been used to block mosquitoes ability to transmit other human pathogens. For instance, scientists have created heritable infections in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that stop the insects from transmitting dengue virus2. But manipulating those mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite exclusively from the genus Anopheles has proved trickier.
Anopheline mosquitoes are highly sensitive to their environment and prefer conditions that can be difficult to reproduce in a laboratory setting. Moreover, scientists have had a hard time identifying which strains of Wolbachia would produce a stable infection in those mosquito species.
Researchers had been left wondering if anopheline mosquitoes were physiologically able to support Wolbachia, says Scott ONeill, dean of science at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, who directed the team that found Wolbachia could help to stem the transmission of dengue fever.
The successful combination found by Xi and his colleagues pairs the anopheline species that does best in lab conditions A...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
Post to me or FReep mail to be on/off the Bring Out Your Dead ping list.
The purpose of the Bring Out Your Dead ping list (formerly the Ebola ping list) is very early warning of emerging pandemics, as such it has a high false positive rate.
So far the false positive rate is 100%.
At some point we may well have a high mortality pandemic, and likely as not the Bring Out Your Dead threads will miss the beginning entirely.
*sigh* Such is life, and death...
We should figure out what we’re doing to the tiger and do it to the mosquito.
FReepmail me if you want on or off my combined microbiology/immunology ping list.
Hat tip to yefragetuwrabrumuy for the C. diff story! I think medical entomologist Zhiyong Xi might be sharing a Nobel with Scott ONeill who pulled a similar trick against the virus causing dengue fever.
Dittos to that. DDT controlled mosquitoes without harming. I wonder, have they thought about the long term fallout might occur from this “tinkering”? There must be a purpose for the mosquito or they wouldn’t be here. Bird food? Now all the birds will get the bacteria and then we have dead birds and so it goes.....
In unrelated news a new bacteriological plague strikes the same areas that were hit by malaria. Mortality is much worse.
I agree. My first thought when reading the Title.
Mixed with a little DDT, this biological warfare might be a welcome way to have total genocide on mosquitoes.
Malaria? Why waste time preventing malaria in the third world when there are so many ticks carrying disease in America?
i make my own it is easier than making meth