Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/10/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Making insect immune to malaria parasite stops disease in tracks

Malaria, still a virulent problem in Southeast Asia and much of Africa, poses a threat to the populations there and abroad. Now, there is new hope on the horizon for battling the mosquito-borne illness: making mosquitoes resistant to the malaria-carrying parasite. While previous efforts have sought to make humans immune to the disease, to make the mosquito that carries the disease immune to malaria would halt the progress of the disease in its tracks.

Experts said this was a first, distant prospect for malaria control. The World Health Organization estimates that 220 million people are infected annually and 660,000 die.

Experts said this was a first, distant prospect for malaria control. The World Health Organization estimates that 220 million people are infected annually and 660,000 die.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/10/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Malaria, infection, Africa, Southeast Asia, mosquitoes


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - As malaria is spread between people by the insects, it's hoped that giving mosquitoes malaria immunity could reduce human cases.

Experts said this was a first, distant prospect for malaria control. The World Health Organization estimates that 220 million people are infected annually and 660,000 die.

Studying the Wolbachia bacterium, which commonly infects insects, scientists at Michigan State University noted that the disease passes only from females to their offspring. In some insects, the bug is exceptionally good at manipulating insects to boost the number of females for its own ends.

Wolbachia kills male embryos in some butterflies and ladybirds. It can also produce males that can breed only with infected females, and even allows some female wasps to give birth without mating.

Malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquitoes are not naturally plagued by Wolbachia. Laboratory studies proved that temporary infection made the insects immune to the malaria parasite.

The goal was to turn a temporary infection into one that would be passed on. Researchers found a strain of Wolbachia that could persist in one species of mosquito, Anopheles stephensi, for the entire length of the study - 34 generations.

Additional research in Australia has shown that a different strain of Wolbachia can prevent the spread of dengue fever by mosquitoes.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said this study was a proof of concept that the same could be done for malaria.

"If you can get it to survive and proliferate in the environment of mosquitoes in malaria-stricken areas, this could conceivably have an important impact on the control of malaria.

"I think the potential for this is very important. The implementation will be the challenge."

Commenting on the study, Prof David Conway, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: "It is interesting and is the first report of Wolbachia clearly replicating, but a number of things took away the punch."

Conway says that infected females produced fewer eggs than uninfected females, which meant the infection would struggle to spread in the real world.

He cautioned that it was in just one species, Anopheles stephensi, which carries malaria in the Middle East and South Asia. Anopheles gambiae, in Africa, he says is an even bigger problem.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Health

DEADLY BACTERIA: Dreaded MRSA virus now infecting U.S. homes Watch

Image of Bedding, clothes and other everyday surfaces used by someone affected by MRSA are suggested to be cleaned by bleach and hot water.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The anti-biotic resistant "superbug" known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA for short, is a deadly drug-resistant virus that plagues mostly hospitals. A new report has found that virus can now incubate in private residences, meaning that ... continue reading


WHICH IS WORSE? 'I'd rather have HIV than diabetes,' one controversial doctor says Watch

Image of Dr. Max Pemberton say that it is now very rare for someone to die of HIV in the U.K. and that, in fact, people with the virus have a very similar life expectancy to people who are HIV-negative.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At one time, HIV and AIDS was considered a horrifying death sentence. There was no way to control it, and those who suffered from it would suffer, long painful deaths as their faculties fell away. Diabetes, on the other hand, was a given for those who ... continue reading


Death lurks about the cutting board: Kitchens could be sources of drug-resistant bacteria, experts warn Watch

Image of Ironically, the cutting board -- and NOT the knife, represents the greatest threat to health and safety, experts say.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There's a killer lurking undetected in many ordinary kitchens, experts warn. Cutting boards used to prepare raw poultry may be an important source of drug-resistant bacteria in both hospital kitchens and private homes, a new study warns. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Uh-oh! One in every 20 adults seeking medical care walks away misdiagnosed Watch

Image of In little more than five percent of cases, the original diagnosis was wrong and could have been accurately detected by the information available in the first setting.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're diligent and go to your doctor regularly - you still may not be getting a clean bill of health. According to a new study, one in 20 Americans who see their doctor may walk away having their condition misdiagnosed. Twelve million Americans a year could ... continue reading


Analysis: Millions wasted on shoddy flu drug, Tamiflu Watch

Image of The analysis, from the Cochrane Collaboration claims Tamiflu did not prevent the spread of flu or reduce dangerous complications.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's an especially harsh analysis for a drug that many people keep in their bathroom mirror for a sudden outbreak of the sniffles. A new analysis says that many millions may have been wasted on Tamiflu, a common drug used to treat flu symptoms. According to the ... continue reading


Deadly H5N1 bird flu virus could easily mutate to spread from human to human Watch

Image of When the healthy ferret developed flu symptoms, such as ruffled fur, loss of appetite and lack of energy - researchers knew the virus had spread through the air.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The avian flu, or H5N1 virus was so deadly scientists once halted research as governments feared it might be used by terrorists to stage a biological attack. The dreaded H5N1 avian influenza has since killed 60 percent of the 650 humans known to be infected ... continue reading


Scottish scientists successfully regenerate organ in mouse - could humans be next? Watch

Image of After the regeneration, the treated mice also started to make more T-cells, which is a type of white blood cell key to fighting infections.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A breakthrough which may pave the way for the technique to be used in humans has been uncovered by Scottish scientists. Researchers have been able to fully restore an organ in a living animal for the first time.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The team ... continue reading


New drug used to treat breast cancer heralded as 'quite groundbreaking' Watch

Image of While Pfizer remains in the lead to bring this new class of drugs to market, Novartis has begun late-stage testing of its own CDK 4/6 inhibitor.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An important treatment option in the fight against breast cancer may be waiting in the wings. Researchers say a new type of drug could help prevent advanced breast cancer from worsening. The potential is great for breast cancer patients, and makes for a ... continue reading


Delicious Earl Grey tea found to have hidden health benefit Watch

Image of Bergamot is a Mediterranean citrus fruit which gives Earl Grey its distinct taste and smell. It has enjoyed popularity among the upper and middle classes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Many drink it for its taste and the enjoyment it brings, without thought of it being "good for them." Scientists now say that Earl Grey tea can lower cholesterol and reduce the chances of heart disease. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - A popular beverage ... continue reading


Deaf since birth, woman hears - for the first time Watch

Image of Deaf since birth, 40-year-old Joanne Milne received cochlear implants - and is now learning to hear the world for the very first time. Electronic implants were switched on, and Milne burst into tears when the sound of a nurse reciting the days of the week gave her the first sensation of sound.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Deaf since birth, 40-year-old Joanne Milne received cochlear implants - and is now learning to hear the world for the very first time. Electronic implants were switched on, and Milne burst into tears when the sound of a nurse reciting the days of the week gave ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter