Edible fish feasts beats malaria

Aug 09, 2007

The emerging threat of pesticide resistance means that biological malaria control methods are once again in vogue. New research published in the online open access journal BMC Public Health shows how Nile tilapia, a fish more commonly served up to Kenyan diners, is a valuable weapon against malaria mosquitoes.

Annabel Howard and Francois Omlin from the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Nairobi, Kenya, introduced Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.), to abandoned fishponds in western Kenya. The study, funded by the Government of Finland, BioVision Foundation (Switzerland) and the Toyota Environment Foundation, monitored pond life, comparing the restocked ponds with a control pond nearby.

After 15 weeks the fish reduced both Anopheles gambiae s.l. and Anopheles funestus, the region's primary malaria vectors, by over 94 percent. The fish also decimated three quarters of the culicine mosquito population.

The findings present a win-win situation for Kenyans, who can use the fish to limit mosquito populations and gain food and income from them too. "O. niloticus fish were so effective in reducing immature mosquito populations that there is likely to be a noticeable effect on the adult mosquito population in the area," Howard says. This control method is apparently sustainable, as the fish breed and provide a continuous population. The authors also point out other benefits in their article.

There are over 2000 pediatric malaria cases annually in the Kisii Central District where the authors carried out their research. Nile tilapia's predilection for mosquitoes has been known since 1917. However this is the first field data published detailing this species' use for mosquito control.

Source: BioMed Central

Explore further: Why medical debt – and bankruptcy – are growing problems

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Resistance shapes the discovery of new insecticides

Feb 17, 2014

Recent news around the world has focused on the dangers of antibiotic resistance. But what of another type of resistance which can also have a huge impact on the population: that to insecticides? ...

Parasites: Rulers of the Reef

Nov 20, 2013

Because "she" spawns every fourth day, I knew she would spawn today. I rolled out of bed at the chime of my reliable Winnie the Pooh alarm clock, slid into my wetsuit, grabbed my underwater flashlight, and ...

Planning in the near term for climate change

Jun 27, 2013

When scientists talk about climate change, they usually mean significant changes in the measures of climate over several decades or longer. Climate variability generally refers to seasonal changes over a ...

Recommended for you

Why medical debt – and bankruptcy – are growing problems

4 minutes ago

Burdensomely high medical costs are often blamed for pushing many Americans into bankruptcy. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau some 43 million Americans have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports. ...

California declares electronic cigarettes a health threat

18 minutes ago

California health officials on Wednesday declared electronic cigarettes a health threat that should be strictly regulated like tobacco products, joining other states and health advocates across the U.S. in pushing back against ...

Many seniors not reporting falls to physician

1 hour ago

(HealthDay)—Millions of Americans aged 65 and older fall every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But, fewer than half tell their doctor, according to a news release ...

California breast density law slow to have an impact

1 hour ago

Ten months after California legislators enacted a controversial law mandating that radiologists notify women if they have dense breast tissue, UC Davis researchers have found that half of primary care physicians are still ...

Earlier menopause linked to everyday chemical exposures

1 hour ago

Women whose bodies have high levels of chemicals found in plastics, personal-care products, common household items and the environment experience menopause two to four years earlier than women with lower ...

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.