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 New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

nachricht A promising target for kidney fibrosis
21.04.2017 | Brigham and Women's Hospital

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>