Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fungus reduces malaria transmission

"Biopesticides containing a fungus that is pathogenic to mosquitoes may be an effective means of reducing malaria transmission, particularly if used in combination with insecticide-treated bednets" (Public). Mosquito adaptation and resistance to insecticides is a major hindrance to malaria eradication. "In developing strategies to control malaria...there is increased interest in biological methods that do not cause instant" mosquito or parasite death. Instead, scientists are searching for preventative measures, which "have sublethal and lethal effects at different ages and stages in the mosquito life cycle", with the hope that these more mild approaches will be more effective in the long run than the aggressive techniques used in the past. (Hancock).

"[A]ccording to a modelling study conducted by Dr. Penelope Hancock from Imperial College London," incorporating fungal biopesticides "may substantially reduce malaria transmission rates and help manage insecticide resistance...Efficient combinations of interventions may allow each to be used at lower levels, and slow the development of resistance in the mosquito population" (Public).

Hancock, Penelope A. "Combining Fungal Biopesticides and Insecticide-Treated Bednets to Enhance Malaria Control".

Public Library of Science. "Control Of Mosquito Vectors Of Malaria May Be Enhanced By A New Method Of Biocontrol." ScienceDaily 1 October 2009. 7 October 2009 .

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