Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mosquito genes linked to insecticide resistance may be new target in fight against malaria

05.02.2009
Malaria remains one of the most serious diseases worldwide, claiming the lives of more than one million people per year in tropical and sub-tropical regions, the majority of whom are children under five years of age.

Efforts to eliminate this mosquito-borne illness rely heavily on prevention measures, but there are growing concerns about resistance to insecticides. In a study published online today in Genome Research, researchers have identified specific mosquito genes associated with resistance to a common class of insecticide, a significant step toward the execution of more effective malaria control strategies.

Eradication of mosquitoes that carry the malarial parasite has relied heavily on the use of insecticides for spraying inside of homes and treatment of mosquito netting. There are very few insecticides that are both effective and low-cost, while at the same time safe for humans. Developing new insecticides will be time consuming and expensive, therefore understanding the genetic and biological basis of resistance to insecticides currently in use will be critical for more effective prevention measures in the field.

In this study, an international team of scientists led by Dr. Charles Wondji of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medical has identified the genetic basis of resistance to common pyrethroid insecticides in the mosquito Anopheles funestus, one of the major malarial vectors in Africa. The group studied strains of An. funestus that are both susceptible and resistant to pyrethroids, and narrowed down the potential genetic culprits to members of a family of genes coding for enzymes known as cytochrome P450s. The P450s are common to all classes of organisms, and are considered a first line of defense against toxins.

The researchers found two cytochrome P450 genes in An. funestus that are associated with pyrethroid resistance. Dr. Hilary Ranson of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, a co-author of the study, explained that what makes this finding remarkable is that this particular type of cytochrome P450s were also recently implicated in pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles gambiae, the other major malaria-carrying mosquito in Africa. "If the enzymes responsible for resistance are very similar in both species, there is a much greater incentive to invest efforts in identifying specific enzyme inhibitors with the knowledge that they will likely be effective at overcoming resistance in both major malaria vectors," said Ranson. Furthermore, Ranson noted it is critical that these mosquito P450 genes do not have close relatives in the human genome, meaning that targets developed against these mosquitoes should have low risk for toxicity in humans.

This report of genetic markers that can be used to predict insecticide resistance in laboratory populations of An. funestus may be a landmark finding in malaria prevention when applied to the evaluation of wild mosquito populations. "Routine use of these molecular markers for resistance will provide early warning of future control problems due to insecticide resistance and should greatly enhance our ability to mitigate the potentially devastating effects of resistance on malaria control," said Ranson.

Peggy Calicchia | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.cshl.edu
http://www.genome.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus
22.05.2017 | University of Toronto

nachricht Insight into enzyme's 3-D structure could cut biofuel costs
19.05.2017 | DOE/Los Alamos National Laboratory

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

Im Focus: Bacteria harness the lotus effect to protect themselves

Biofilms: Researchers find the causes of water-repelling properties

Dental plaque and the viscous brown slime in drainpipes are two familiar examples of bacterial biofilms. Removing such bacterial depositions from surfaces is...

Im Focus: Hydrogen Bonds Directly Detected for the First Time

For the first time, scientists have succeeded in studying the strength of hydrogen bonds in a single molecule using an atomic force microscope. Researchers from the University of Basel’s Swiss Nanoscience Institute network have reported the results in the journal Science Advances.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is an integral part of almost all organic compounds. Molecules and sections of macromolecules are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

Innovation 4.0: Shaping a humane fourth industrial revolution

17.05.2017 | Event News

Media accreditation opens for historic year at European Health Forum Gastein

16.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New approach to revolutionize the production of molecular hydrogen

22.05.2017 | Materials Sciences

Scientists enlist engineered protein to battle the MERS virus

22.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Experts explain origins of topographic relief on Earth, Mars and Titan

22.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>