3 April 2018

Nigeria: Scientists Discover Drug That Can Make Blood Poisonous to Mosquitoes

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(file photo).

With Agency Reports — An "exciting" pill can make human blood poisonous to mosquitoes and kill them, a research has suggested.

A group of scientists discovered that disease-carrying flies died after feeding on human blood which contains ivermectin.

This discovery will be a cheering news in Nigeria where millions of people have died as a result of malaria caused by female mosquitoes.

Several millions of naira has been spent by successive governments to fight malaria, with just little effect as many Nigerians continue to get infected.

However, that may not happen again as the mosquito-killing effect in the new drug lasts up to a month after patients are given the drug, which is already used to treat scabies.

Researchers hope the drug can be used to stem the control of malaria and potentially other mosquito-borne diseases.

A team of British-led researchers split 139 volunteers from Kenya (which reports more than six million new cases of malaria each year) into three groups.

The malaria patients were randomly chosen to be given 600mcg/kg or 300mg/kg of ivermectin for three days or were given a placebo.

The study, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, reveals that both doses of ivermectin are poisonous to mosquitoes for up to 28 days.

It also shows 97 per cent of mosquitoes died two weeks after feeding on the blood of patients given the higher dose of ivermectin.

The scientists drawn from the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KMRI) and the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDCP) fed the mosquitoes in cages using blood samples taken from the volunteers.

Lead Researcher at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), Dr. Menno Smit, has welcomed the findings, TechTimes reports.

Dr. Smit said, "The most exciting result is the fact that even one month after the subjects took ivermectin, their blood was still killing mosquitoes."

The researchers believe that the 300mcg/kg dose offers the best hope due to adverse effect from higher doses.

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