31 May 2019

Africa: Laboratory Fungus 'Kills 99 Percent of Malaria Mosquitoes'

Photo: Brian Lovett, CC BY-SA
The MosquitoSphere team consists of authors on the paper and local volunteers from Soumousso, Burkina Faso. Back row (from left to right): Etienne Bilgo, Oliver Zida, Bema Ouattara; Middle row: Boureima Saré, Judicael Zida, Brian Lovett, Moussa Ouattara, MichaÏlou Sanfo and Bamory Ouattara; Front row: Yaya Ouattara and Jacques Gnambani.

A fungus - genetically enhanced to produce spider toxin - can rapidly kill huge numbers of the mosquitoes that spread malaria, a study suggests.

Trials by the University of Maryland in the US - and the IRSS research institute in Burkina Faso in the African country showed mosquito populations collapsed by 99 per cent within 45 days.

The fungus called Metarhizium pingshaense naturally infects the Anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria which kills more than 400,000 people per year.

Worldwide, there are about 219 million cases of malaria each year.

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