Controlling deadly malaria without chemicals

Botox cousin can reduce malaria in an environmentally friendly way
Malaria mosquito of the species i>Anopheles gambiae Credit: Anna-Karin Landin/Stockholm University

Scientists have finally found malaria's Achilles' heel, a neurotoxin that isn't harmful to any living thing except Anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria.

Nearly half the world's population lives in areas vulnerable to malaria which kills roughly 450,000 people per year, most of them children and pregnant women. Progress fighting the disease is threatened as Anopheles develop resistance to chemical insecticides used to control them. There is also great concern about toxic side effects of the chemicals.

About 30 years ago, scientists identified a that kills Anopheles. Since the bacteria's method of attack was not understood, it couldn't be replicated or used as an alternative to —until now.

An international team led by Sarjeet Gill, distinguished professor of molecular, cell and at UC Riverside, has identified a neurotoxin produced by the bacteria, and determined how it kills Anopheles. Their work is detailed in a paper published today in Nature Communications.

It took Gill and his team 10 years to achieve a breakthrough in their quest to understand the bacteria, and Gill attributes the success to modern gene sequencing techniques. They hit the bacteria with radiation, creating mutant bacterial strains that could not produce the toxin. By comparing the nontoxic strain to the one that kills Anopheles, they found proteins in the bacteria that are the keys to toxin production.

"Identifying the mechanisms by which the bacteria targets Anopheles has not been easy," Gill said. "We were excited not only to find the neurotoxin, called PMP1, but also several proteins that likely protect PMP1 as it's being absorbed in the mosquito's gut."

Many neurotoxins generally target vertebrates, and PMP1 bears 30 percent chemical similarity to botulinum or tetanus, both highly toxic to humans. Because the neurotoxin does not affect humans, vertebrates, fish, or even other insects, Gill believes the bacteria that produce PMP1 likely co-evolved along with Anopheles mosquitoes.

Botox cousin can reduce malaria in an environmentally friendly way
The newly discovered neurotoxin that specifically targets malaria mosquitoes. The structure of the part of PMP1 that 'recognizes' the malaria mosquito. Credit: Geoffrey Masuyer/Stockholm University

"It was surprising for us that PMP1 is not toxic to mice even by injection," Gill said.

Members of Gill's team include postdoctoral scholars Estefania Contreras, Jianwu Chen, Harpal Dhillon, and Nadia Qureshi as well as graduate student Swati Chawla from UC Riverside, Geoffrey Masuyer and Pål Stenmark from Stockholm University and Han Lim Lee from the Institute for Medical Research in Malaysia. Their work was funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

The team has applied for a patent on this discovery, and now hopes to find partners that will help them develop their -based Anopheles insecticide. These findings also open the door to new avenues of research on additional environmentally friendly insecticides.

"There is a high likelihood that if PMP1 evolved to kill the Anopheles mosquito, there are other toxins that can kill other disease-spreading pests," Gill said. "This could just be the start of a new way to prevent hundreds of thousands from getting sick and dying every year."


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More information: Estefania Contreras et al, A neurotoxin that specifically targets Anopheles mosquitoes, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10732-w
Journal information: Nature Communications

Citation: Controlling deadly malaria without chemicals (2019, June 28) retrieved 24 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-deadly-malaria-chemicals.html
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Jun 28, 2019
Excellent news.

Now, just make sure to avoid all of Bill Gates and (his associations') interest and attempts to coopt and engineer, or impose it for genocidal purposes, as they're prone to do.

Jun 28, 2019
Why would Bill Gates have anything to do with this?

I knew you were a nutjob, or a troll farmer. Why hate on Gates? Is he saving those evil brown people and making you cringe?

Jun 28, 2019
Why would Bill Gates have anything to do with this?

I knew you were a nutjob, or a troll farmer. Why hate on Gates? Is he saving those evil brown people and making you cringe?


Yes, my anti-genocidal trolling tactics are quite obvious from the two articles I've commented on. One about normalization of child abuse (which I have problems with), where you ironically did all the trolling.

So, would you like to recall some of those other wonderful efforts to ??? "...those evil brown people" ? I mean, I didn't feel the need to add or mention that. I just said don't let a genocidal racist technocrat with a history of imposition have anything to do with brown people.

I am a farmer btw. Nutjob, definitely and I'm here to harvest.


Jun 28, 2019
Why would Bill Gates have anything to do with this?

I knew you were a nutjob, or a troll farmer. Why hate on Gates? Is he saving those evil brown people and making you cringe?


So now, let's address "Why..."

Well, let's consider all his involvement in areas with less than bleached people. Pushing GMOs repeatedly (failure after failure), his involvement with trying to modify mosquitoes and malaria, his involvement with vaccines (apparently also numerous cases where that didn't work so well, I recall Kenya, India, some other African nations). There's so much more though, you should check the tax statements!

Btw, I'm African. Go figure.

Jun 28, 2019
I have wondered many times if this 'new world order' aka brave new world, is the result of held back discoveries, like this one from 30 years ago, known but not brought forward and developed, is the result of hands-on manipulation of the economy to eliminate the middle class and caste the remainder into permanent low class.
India's example seems to have been successfully set in stone once in place, and the US has made the military a caste, wealth a caste, service industry a caste, and education a caste. Probably at the same percentages India's caste system carries.

Jun 28, 2019
katesisco,

I don't wonder about that. I know freemason founding families. I even have like, sort of, personal experience with stuff like the b&m gates foundation.

Jun 29, 2019
Yep... Bill Gates must be an evil nasty genocidal devil. That's the only way to describe someone who has given on the order of 50 billion dollars in search of cures for tropical diseases, educating and caring for people. It must be that the people he helps are the wrong color or something to generate such hate. The only way I can figure it.

Jun 29, 2019
Yep... Bill Gates must be an evil nasty genocidal devil. That's the only way to describe someone who has given on the order of 50 billion dollars in search of cures for tropical diseases, educating and caring for people. It must be that the people he helps are the wrong color or something to generate such hate. The only way I can figure it.


I didn't think you were stupid enough to make/use another account to try and legitimize your irrelevance. Shows you just how much I know. It's almost as if you think that I can't notice the linguistics and similarities.

Especially considering you're arguing from the basis of monetary "support". Never has money been used to impose, dictate, subvert. Of course not. Shit, I've never even seen laundering in NGOs. Fuck, last time I checked out Delaware, it was basically like a Church.

Fact is, I look at results. God gave men "dominion" just to see how deep a hole they could dig. Keep at it.

Jun 30, 2019
The title of this article is;

"Controlling deadly malaria without chemicals"

But then what it says in this article contradicts this title by explaining its about a neurotoxin that kills Anopheles mosquitoes; Doesn't the editor know that a neurotoxin is a chemical by definition thus this article is NOT about avoiding the use of chemicals but rather IS about using a chemical to control deadly malaria?
Perhaps the editor, like so many extremely science-ignorant people, equates the word 'chemical' with 'unnatural and/or harmful substance' and doesn't understand that many 'chemicals', such as water etc, are harmless to humans and are still 'chemicals' nevertheless?

Jun 30, 2019
I didn't think you were stupid enough to make/use another account to try and legitimize your irrelevance. Shows you just how much I know. It's almost as if you think that I can't notice the linguistics and similarities.

Especially considering you're arguing from the basis of monetary "support". Never has money been used to impose, dictate, subvert. Of course not. Shit, I've never even seen laundering in NGOs. Fuck, last time I checked out Delaware, it was basically like a Church.

Fact is, I look at results. God gave men "dominion" just to see how deep a hole they could dig. Keep at it.
Yeah, figured it was a nutjob. Just ignore it.

Jun 30, 2019
The cessation of the use of DDT, the only effective anti-mosquito killer ever, resulted in the deaths of over 50 million Africans and Asians in the last 30 years. But, the do-gooders managed to save some bird eggs. Maybe. Bra-vo.

Jul 01, 2019
Dichlorodiphenyltrichlorethane was eliminated from agricultural use because insect pests developed immunity to it. It also turns out that pyrethroids are far more effective against mosquitos and don't risk the environment the way DDT does. The use of DDT against malaria mosquitos is the only allowed use under the Stockholm Convention.

Stop lying.

Jul 02, 2019
Oh wow, I pretty much agree with Da Schneib.

Unfortunately, as everywhere else in the world where huge amounts of specific pesticides/herbicides etc is used, resistance develops. The effects of typical agricultural practices shouldn't be overlooked, either. Often, weaker habitats, less variety and predators result in propagation of pests and disease...unfortunately in Africa, there are also numerous other factors in play, such as constant exploitation, wars and such worsening the situation.

Also, mosquitos are becoming more resistant to particularly commonly applied products such as pyrethroids as well as things like BT. It is unfortunate that in many cases one of the more common pest controllers' (BT) efficacy has been sort of, negated.

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