Genetically modified fungus can kill 99% of malarial mosquitoes

Malaria is very dangerous disease that spreads through mosquito bites, is annually causing the deaths of about 400,000 people. To reduce the population of malarial mosquitoes, the researchers used insecticides, but later the insects began to develop immunity to them. While in search of an alternative method of destroying infectious bloodsuckers, scientists from the University of Maryland found that they die from fungal spores from the introduced genes the Australian venomous spider.

Subjected to genetic modification of the fungus called Metarhizium pingshaensei — it has long been known as a natural killer of mosquitoes. The researchers found that toxins contained in its contradictions, full of killing insects is sometimes not enough, so they decided to inject some genes poisonous Australian spider. To test the efficacy of genetically modified dispute, the authors have built three separate facilities for conducting a large-scale experiment.

A new method for the extermination of malaria mosquitoes

Experimental platform called “MosquitoSphere”: in each of the three structures were generated in different conditions. In the first room, the scientists hung a canvas with a modified mushroom spores, and a second canvas with ordinary samples. In the third construction of any dispute was not, and mosquitoes, in principle, is not threatened.

Inside the buildings were also planted plants and constructed water reservoirs for supply of mosquito within each isolated region scientists released the 1000 adult males and 500 females. Each group lived in its own terms it is 45 days after the end of this period, the researchers counted the number of dead insects.

The spread of malaria will be stopped

As expected, the construction with genetically modified spores of the fungus by the end of the experiment were only 13 adult mosquitoes, which for their reproduction is clearly not enough. In the second room with the usual spores survived 455 mosquitoes, and in the third, the number fell only to 1396 individuals.

The new method of destruction, threat of mosquitoes is another huge plus its toxins do not act on harmless insects like bees. According to study co-author Raymond St. Leger, when fungal spores find that they are on the mosquito, they penetrate into the cuticle and get inside the insect. Other insects they do not apply.

The researchers announced that their goal was not the complete destruction of mosquitoes. Using this method, they hope to prevent the epidemic of malaria by reducing the mosquito population, they want to stop the spread of the disease.

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