Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mosquitoes are more attracted to individuals infected with malaria

09.08.2005


Malaria remains a devastating problem in Africa and understanding the factors affecting its transmission remains a crucial part of the effort to combat the disease. A new study published in the premier open access journal PLoS Biology conducted in Western Kenya by Jacob Koella and colleagues now reveals that mosquitoes are more attracted to children with the infectious stages of malaria than to those infected with non-transmissible forms of the disease or to uninfected people.


Mosquitoes are most attracted to children infected with malarial parasites in the gametocyte stage. The Anopheles mosquito ingests gametocytes during its blood meal. (CDC/ Dr. Mae Melvin)



The question of whether malaria increases your chances of being bitten by a mosquito has long stalled scientists because of numerous confounding factors. Sweat, breath odour, and high body temperature all increase mosquitoes¡¦ blood lust, and no previous study had been able to isolate the effect of just the parasite. To measure how attracted the mosquitoes were to the participants, the researchers set up a chamber of uninfected female mosquitoes surrounded by tents containing the children - one already infected with transmissible malaria, one infected with the non-transmissible asexual stage of the disease, and one with no infection. A device called an olfactometer wafted the odours of each participant towards the mosquitoes. Researchers measured which child most attracted the hungry bugs. Koella et al. found that individuals attracted significantly more mosquitoes if they had the infectious stage of the malaria parasite. Moreover, when the children were treated with antimalarial drugs, there was no difference in the subsequent attractiveness of the participants.

It is already known that mosquito biting rates greatly influence the spread of malaria. Now Koella and colleagues have shown that the parasite itself manipulates the biting behaviour of the mosquito vector when it is ready for a new host. Such manipulation could have a profound effect on the epidemiology of disease and, if it is not considered, could lead to severe biases in the estimates of the intensity of malaria transmission.

Paul Ocampo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plosbiology.org
http://www.plos.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht World first: Massive thrombosis removed during early pregnancy
20.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

nachricht Therapy of preterm birth in sight?
19.07.2017 | Universitätsspital Bern

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>