Discovered a microbe that blocks the malaria parasite in mosquitoes

A microbe that does not have a negative effect on mosquitoes could curb malaria after an investigation in Kenya. It has been named Microsporidia MB and is transferred from female mosquitoes to their young.

According to UNICEF, malaria kills around 800,000 people a year, almost 90% of these deaths occur in Africa. No wonder the great efforts that science invests in combating this disease. Genetically modified mosquitoes have been created to combat it, or a vaccine, RTS, S, has even been created, which can serve as natural immunity. However, now it seems that a group of scientists has discovered a microbe that can accelerate the solution to malaria. Nature, always there to help us.

Natural brake on the Plasmodium malaria parasite

The microbe, Microsporidia MB, has been discovered by scientists at the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Kenya and at the University of Glasgow (UK). An investigation in Lake Victoria in Kenya that concluded that Microsporidia MB-carrying mosquitoes do not harbor the malaria parasite, either in the wild or after infection in the laboratory.

mosquito dengue

“Healthy insects often have microbial symbionts within their bodies and cells, which can have major effects on the biology of their hosts,” explains Jeremy Herren, director of the study and ICIPE.

In addition, one of the aspects of the research that most surprised scientists during the study was to see how the microbe is transmitted from mother mosquitoes to their young. Furthermore, it was discovered that Microsporidia MB does not negatively affect the mosquito.

However, the levels of this microbe are still low, but a way will be found to increase the proportion of mosquitoes that are carriers, so that it can help block their ability to transmit the disease.

The next months and years of research will go by that branch. How to allow symbiotes to spread? Will malaria deaths be halted? We will have to wait for the next malaria transmission seasons.

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