New malaria mosquito discovery

This video from Zambia is called Annie Anopheles – Treating Malaria Cartoon.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

New mosquito poses greater malaria threat

Nets are no defence against bug that bites people in the evening

Sanchez Manning

Sunday 16 September 2012

Scientists have discovered what could be a new breed of mosquito in Africa with the potential to cause hundreds of thousands more deaths from malaria. Charities say the previously unknown parasite could pose a serious setback to the global fight against the disease – one of the world’s biggest killers.

Researchers said the discovery is worrying because the insect does not behave like normal mosquitoes. Already nearly one million people a year die from malaria caused by bites. But that number would be much higher were it not for mosquito nets. They prevent the female anopheles – the main cause of the disease – from biting at night, when it sucks blood as part of its egg-production cycle. Nearly one million people are thought to have cheated death over the past 12 years by sleeping under nets coated with insecticide.

The new type of mosquito, however, does not wait until night-time; it bites while people are outdoors in the early evening. Even more worrying for the scientists is that they are as yet unable to match the DNA of the new species to any existing mosquito variety.

Jennifer Stevenson of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who was part of the research group, said: “We observed that many mosquitoes we caught – including those infected with malaria – did not physically resemble other known malaria mosquitoes.

“Analysis indicated that their DNA differed from sequences available for known malaria-transmitting mosquitoes in Africa.”

Researchers are worried that the feeding daytime pattern of the new tropical bug posed a serious challenge to controlling the disease.

Ms Stevenson said her team found the species in a village in the highlands of western Kenya where they set up outdoor and indoor traps: “The main difference that came through from this study is that we caught 70 per cent of these species A – which is what we named them because we don’t know exactly what they are – outdoors before 10.30pm, which is the time when people in the village usually go indoors.”

Andrew Griffiths, from the children’s charity World Vision, said the findings are a setback in the worldwide battle against malaria: “It’s concerning because bed nets are one of the important tools in combating malaria and we’ve seen deaths go down dramatically.”

He added that while nets are not the only answer to reducing the incidence of the disease, they are one of the main ways.

“It would mean that one of the important parts in the response to malaria would be taken away. We have to be talking about protecting yourself at different times of the day and put even more focus on the community and other systems without too much reliance on bed nets.”

Scientists who led the study in Kenya are now calling for wider controls to deal with outdoor transmission of the disease.

Jo Lines, a colleague of Ms Stevenson at London’s tropical medicine hospital and a former co-ordinator for the World Health Organisation’s global malaria programme, said: “We do not yet know what these unidentified specimens are, or whether they are acting as vectors [transmitters] on a wider scale, but in the study area they are clearly playing a major and previously unsuspected role.”

Rwanda: Still Safe From Insecticide-Resistant Mosquitoes: here.

ScienceDaily (Sep. 20, 2012) — A mosquito sample collected three decades ago in Israel’s Negev Desert has yielded an unexpected discovery: a previously unknown virus that’s closely related to some of the world’s most dangerous mosquito-borne pathogens but, curiously, incapable of infecting non-insect hosts: here.

A Few Words for Mosquitoes: here.

14 thoughts on “New malaria mosquito discovery

  1. Pingback: New bat species discovery in Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. The Star (Nairobi)

    Kenya: Felling of Trees Irks Residents

    By Kirimi Murithi, 18 September 2012

    Residents of Nthambiro village in Igembe South district have decried indiscriminate felling of trees in the area and want the government to act on the matter. They said yesterday rivers are drying up due to the practice and called on the government to prosecute a resident who is behind it.

    They claim the resident was issued with a permit from the Nyambene Forest Service office to harvest a dry tree but he cut down more trees, including the indigenous species. Joseph Gichunge, a human rights activist in the area, said the resident split the trees into timber. “The spring that serves over 19,000 people and is also a source of water for their domestic animals is drying up,” said Gichunge.

    “The forest contains other animals like monkeys and birds. The land on which the forest stands is purely a community land and the spring was fenced out by the Plan International who constructed two intakes and connected pipes in a manner that people would be fetching water away from the source in order to avoid interference with the source”, said Gichunge.

    He claims the resident broke the chain link so as to access the forest and right now people have started going up to the intakes. Teachers from the neighboring Nthambiro primary school realised that someone was cutting trees from that forest and mobilized their pupils to chase away men who were using power saws to cut the trees and later seized the remaining timber which they took to the school compound.


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