Researchers medicating mosquitoes to fight malaria

To encounter malaria and stop mosquitoes from spreading it, researchers have figured out a new way to give them antimalarial drugs through the mosquito nets.

Researchers medicating mosquitoes to fight malaria

Researchers from Harvard University have developed an approach to give mosquitoes antimalarial drugs laced on mosquito nets, so that when a mosquito lands on them, any malaria parasites it has been carrying are killed.

Researcher Flaminia Catteruccia and the team found that an antimalarial drug called ATQ given to travelers visiting areas where malaria is common, also worked on mosquitoes.

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The team kept mosquitoes in a container with ATQ-treated surfaces for 6 minutes. The mosquitoes were then fed with malaria-infected blood. When they dissected the mosquitoes, the researchers discovered no signs of the parasites.

“What I think is really exciting about our research is that targeting the malaria parasite directly within the mosquito is a potent method for blocking malaria’s transmission in its own right,” said lead author Douglas Paton.

Moreover, Catteruccia further suggests that antimalarial drugs could be added to the coating for mosquito nets along with insecticides in order to prevent the disease.