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Stopping Malaria By Immunizing Bugs

RedEaredSlider (1855926) writes | more than 3 years ago

Science 0

RedEaredSlider (1855926) writes "Millions of people in the tropics suffer from malaria, a mosquito-borne disease that has been difficult to treat and which costs many developing countries millions of dollars per year in lost productivity. Up to now, efforts at controlling it have focused on attacking the parasites that cause it, keeping mosquitoes from biting, or killing the insects.

But at Johns Hopkins University, Rhoel Dinglasan, an entomologist and biologist, decided to try another tack: immunizing mosquitoes. ...

When a mosquito bites an infected human, it takes up some of the gametocytes.They aren't dangerous to people at that stage. Since plasmodium is vulnerable there, and that is the point that Dinglasan chose to attack.

A mosquito's gut has certain receptor molecules in it that the plasmodium can bind to. Dinglasan asked what would happen if the parasite couldn't "see" them, which would happen if another molecule, some antigen, were binding to those receptors."

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