Researchers find malaria-resistant mosquitoes

Female mosquito feeding on human blood Copyright: WHO/TDR/Stammers

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Researchers have found mosquitoes in Mali that are naturally resistant to the malaria parasite, and suggest that eliminating the non-resistant mosquitoes could be a viable way of combating the disease.

The team, including researchers from the University of Bamako and three top US-based institutes, also identified a gene that could be key to determining how resistant the mosquitoes are to infection by the parasite.

More surprising to the researchers was how widespread resistance is. With so few susceptible mosquitoes, wiping them out could be relatively easy, they say. One way of doing this could be with a promising fungal spray that preferentially kills infected insects (see Fungus could be next weapon in war on malaria).

Link to article in Science

Link to full paper in Science

Reference: Science, 312, 514 (2006)