Floating spores kill malaria mosquito larvae

Feb 21, 2011

There are over 200 million cases of malaria each year and, according to the World Health Organisation, in 2009 malaria was responsible for 781,000 deaths worldwide. Malaria is spread by mosquitoes which breed in open water and spend much of their larval stage feeding on fungi and microorganisms at the water surface. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Parasites and Vectors presents a method of dispersing pathogenic fungi as a means of preventing the spread of malaria.

The parasite (genus Plasmodium), which causes malaria, is transmitted to humans with mosquito saliva during a bite, where it invades the liver and causing fever. Once infected, it can be difficult for a human host to recover because some species of Plasmodium are able to lie dormant and evade antimalarial drugs. These parasites are also becoming resistant to the antimalarials taken to prevent infection. An alternative way of reducing the risk of is to kill the mosquitoes. The fungi, M. anisopliae and B. bassiana, cause muscardine disease in mosquito larvae, leading to their death before they can pupate and develop into the adult form.

Tullu Bukhari and colleagues from the Laboratory of Entomology, Wageningen University, The Netherlands, have used a synthetic oil (ShellSol T) as a means of dispersing over the surface of water. The oil-spore preparation is easy to mix and use of the oil improved the dispersal of spores across the water. This simple formulation increased both the persistence and effectiveness of spores, killing up to 50% more larvae than untreated spores and reducing pupation levels to less than 20% at a test site in Kenya.

Speaking about the research Tullu Bukhari said, "these fungi provide an effective means of controlling . Both spores and the oil have minimal risk to fish and and so are also environmentally safe."

Explore further: Team finds key to tuberculosis resistance

More information: Development of Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana formulations for control of malaria mosquito larvae, Tullu Bukhari, Willem Takken, and Constantianus J.M. Koenraadt, Parasites and Vectors (in press)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New mosquito in Africa raises malaria concerns

Feb 03, 2011

Researchers have found a new mosquito in the west African nation of Burkina Faso that appears to be highly susceptible to malaria parasites and could help the disease spread, said a study Thursday.

Recommended for you

Team finds key to tuberculosis resistance

3 hours ago

The cascade of events leading to bacterial infection and the immune response is mostly understood. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the immune response to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis ...

Mutation may cause early loss of sperm supply

4 hours ago

Brown University biologists have determined how the loss of a gene in male mice results in the premature exhaustion of their fertility. Their fundamental new insights into the complex process of sperm generation ...

No more bleeding for 'iron overload' patients?

6 hours ago

Hemochromatosis (HH) is the most common genetic disorder in the western world, and yet is barely known. Only in the US 1 in 9 people carry the mutation (although not necessarily the disease).

3-D printing offers innovative method to deliver medication

11 hours ago

3-D printing could become a powerful tool in customizing interventional radiology treatments to individual patient needs, with clinicians having the ability to construct devices to a specific size and shape. That's according ...

Mystery of the reverse-wired eyeball solved

Feb 27, 2015

From a practical standpoint, the wiring of the human eye - a product of our evolutionary baggage - doesn't make a lot of sense. In vertebrates, photoreceptors are located behind the neurons in the back of the eye - resulting ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.