Mosquitoes can harbor thousands of malaria-causing parasites in their bodies, yet while slurping blood from a victim, they transmit just a tiny fraction of them. In an effort to define precisely the location of the parasite bottleneck, scientists say they have discovered that the parasites are stopped by a roadblock along the escape route in the insect's spit glands, a barrier that could potentially serve as a novel target for preventing or reducing malarial infection.
Chemists develop selective agents to combat infectious diseases -- based on the structures of natural products.
Infections such as Chagas disease, African sleeping sickness, and leishmaniasis are caused by a group of microorganisms called kinetoplastids. In a new study, a research team used a non-disease-causing kinetoplastid to investigate how these parasites adhere to their insect hosts' insides. Their findings could help in the development of targeted therapies that prevent insects from transmitting these diseases to humans.
Researchers have used whole genome sequencing to understand copy-number variants (CNVs) in malaria mosquitoes and their role in insecticide resistance.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently developed an Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGP trap) that attracts and captures female mosquitoes looking for a site to lay eggs. Now, researchers report that AGO traps successfully protected people from infection with chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in communities in Puerto Rico.
Genomic surveillance has revealed that malaria resistance to two first-line antimalarial drugs has spread rapidly from Cambodia to neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. Researchers discovered that descendants of one multi-drug resistant malaria strain are replacing the local parasites in Vietnam, Laos and northeastern Thailand, and are picking up additional new genetic changes which could further enhance resistance. The study reveals the importance of ongoing genomic surveillance in malaria control strategies.
Researchers have taken significant steps in understanding the way that the anti-malarial drug primaquine (PQ) works, which they hope will lead to the development of new, safer and more effective treatments for malaria.
New research suggests that a better understanding of human behavior at night -- when malaria mosquitoes are biting -- could be key to preventing lingering cases.
A new study describes the way mosquito immune systems fight malaria parasites using various waves of resistance. The study could lay the groundwork for future research to combat the transmission of malaria, which sickens millions of people across the globe every year.
Most of the 3,000+ mosquito species are opportunistic, but researchers are most interested in the mosquitoes that scientists call 'disease vectors' -- carriers of diseases that plague humans -- some of which have evolved to bite humans almost exclusively. One expert is trying to understand how the brain and genome of these mosquitoes have evolved to make them specialize in humans -- including how they can distinguish us from other mammals so effectively.
Researchers have found a new toxin that selectively targets mosquitoes. This can lead to innovative and environmentally friendly approaches to reduce malaria.
Researchers have identified more than 100 'hijacked' human genes that malaria parasites commandeer to take up residence inside their victim's liver during the silent early stages of infection, before symptoms appear. Before their work only a few such genes were known. The findings could lead to new ways to stop malaria parasites before people get sick and help keep the disease from spreading, via treatments that are less likely to promote resistance.
New high-resolution maps show the global burden of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax, the two parasites that cause the majority of malaria cases worldwide.
Researchers have discovered that the Plasmodium parasites responsible for malaria rely on a human liver cell protein for their development into a form capable of infecting red blood cells and causing disease. The study suggests that targeting this human protein, known as CXCR4, could be a way to block the parasite's life cycle and prevent the development of malaria.
Viruses, spread through mosquito bites, cause human illnesses such as dengue fever, Zika and yellow fever. A new control technique harnesses a naturally occurring bacterium called Wolbachia that blocks replication of viruses and breaks the cycle of mosquito-borne disease, according to an international team of researchers.
A public health, police, and military partnership to reduce the mosquito population in Sri Lanka resulted in a more than 50% reduction in dengue, as well as cost savings, finds a new study.
The solution to the problem of increasing drug resistance among malaria-causing parasites could come from the North, according to a new study. A team successfully synthesized molecules discovered in a microscopic fungus from Nunavut and demonstrated their in vitro efficacy against the parasite responsible for malaria.
Effective methods of controlling mosquito populations are needed to help lower the worldwide burden of mosquito-borne diseases including Zika, chikungunya, and dengue. Now, researchers have described a new statistical framework that can be used to assess mosquito control programs over broad time and space scales.
Researchers describe the first trial outside the laboratory of a transgenic approach to combating malaria. The study shows that a naturally occurring fungus engineered to deliver a toxin to mosquitoes safely reduced mosquito populations by more than 99% in a screen-enclosed, simulated village setting in Burkina Faso, West Africa.
Feeding mosquitoes sugar makes them less attracted to humans, a response that is regulated by the protein vitellogenin, according to a new study.