Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Multi-million dollar research project is designed to mislead malaria mosquitoes with odour

28.06.2005


An international team of scientists will in the coming five years set up a research project on developing diversions to mislead malaria mosquitoes with odours. With these the number of cases of malaria in tropical Africa may be reduced strongly. Scientists at Wageningen University will be working with colleagues in the USA, Tanzania and Gambia on a project led by Vanderbilt researchers that has received $8.5 million dollars (approximately 7 million Euro) from the U.S. Foundation for the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of their Grand Challenges in Global Health Initiative.

In the team are scientists from Vanderbilt University, Yale University and Wageningen University who will be co-operating with researchers from the Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre in Tanzania and the Medical Research Council Laboratories in Gambia (Africa). They aim at reducing the population of malaria transferring mosquitoes by setting up odour traps and effective repellents that keep malaria mosquitoes away from potential human hosts. In this fashion, they hope that the risk of malaria transfer may be reduced substantially.

To find a proper host (the human being) female malaria mosquitoes head for the odours they intercept with their antennas. After they recognise the host’s odour, they suck up blood that hey need for egg production. As the mosquito is drawing blood, parasites from the mosquito enter the human body. A small percentage of malaria mosquitoes are infected by the Plasmodium parasite. These parasites (Plasmodium spp.) are responsible for the malaria disease. When an infected person, after an incubation period of ten to fourteen days, is bitten again by a mosquito, the malaria parasite is transmitted to the mosquito and so is spread more widely throughout the mosquito population. The change for other people of being infected will increase. The number of malaria cases is world-wide between 300 and 660 million per year and is the most important life-threatening disease in the world, causing more than a million fatal victims pro year.



Odour Insect Trap

The malaria mosquito Anophels gambiae heads for a complex of odours to find a host. The research team of Vanderbuilt University (Nashville, Tennessee) and Yale University (New Haven, Connecticut) in the USA will develop odour material for which the mosquito antennas are very sensitive. This team will identify and test either attractive or repellent odour materials or materials causing confusion. After that the Wageningen University team will look at the effect of the interesting odour materials from the American research on mosquito behaviour. The materials (substances) giving the strongest reaction (attracting, repelling or causing confusion) will then be tested in a simulated natural situation in Ifakara, Tanzania. The ideal blend of odours will find its way to African villages for full-scale, practical tests as part of the project. The villages are located in the Gambia and Tanzania and are situated in different geographical extremes with different mosquito populations. The results of the research project should therefore be applicable for much of tropical Africa. If the experiments are successful African households will have an added degree of protection provided by strong new repellents or odorants that confuse the mosquito’s sense of smell, causing less mosquito biting, while outside the villages insect traps are baited with attractive odorants that the insects can’t ignore. The ultimate goal is to reduce malaria transmission by the use of odorant devices.

The eventual products can be deployed against other pathogenic mosquitoes, such as the mosquito Aedes aegypti spreading dengue fever and against Culex pipiens, carrier of the West-Nile virus.

Earlier this month news spread about a new biological approach for fighting malaria mosquitoes developed by the entomology team of Wageningen University. Its research identified a fungus that seriously weakens or kills the mosquitoes before they can infect people with malaria parasites. This illustrates the fact that the Wageningen team is working on several methods of fighting the malaria mosquito that could be combined to form an integrated strategy for fighting this deadly disease.

Jac Niessen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.wur.nl

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>