Helping Mosquitoes Get Healthy May Save Lives

Malaria comes from sick Anopheles mosquitoes who bite humans injecting them with Plasmodium. Researchers know that mosquitoes like human have immune systems but a protozoan parasite is smarter than that immune system.
John Hopkins University Malaria Research Institute is going to work to improve the mosquitoes immune system. The theory is that if the immune system can block the protozoan parasite then malaria could be a disease of the past.

Most of the time the protozoan parasite entering the mosquito is after a bite to a human. Once in the mosquitoes system the parasites that survive gut migration replicate and move on to the salivary glands ready to enter the next human host.

This is not a simple little experiment though. It requires developing enough genetically modified mosquito with a strengthened immune system that they breed with other mosquitoes and pass on the gene. It’s a long shot. If that long shot works though the world may talk about a day of when malaria was a big problem instead of in the present tense.


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