Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/10/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

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.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

5/10/2013 (2 years 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'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Health

America drinks less soda: The soda industry sees an all-time-low in sales Watch

Image of The soda industry is changing.


Around five years ago, the soda industry fought back against Mayor Michael A. Nutter's proposal of imposing soda taxes in Philadelphia. Soda lobbyists back then organized protests and came up with campaign contributions to local politicians, with the assistance of ... continue reading

5 things people need to know about breast cancer Watch

Image of


Breast cancer is the most prevalent kind of disease that has been affecting women from all over the world. The World Health Organization estimated around 508,000 women die of this disease every year.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While some women fall prey ... continue reading

Early detection test can lead to breast cancer diagnoses before cancer appears Watch

Image of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


A recent study may make it possible to detect breast cancer before the disease develops. Researchers clarified, however, that the study was based on genetic changes from samples taken from healthy breasts and cancerous breasts. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading

ACLU sues Catholic hospital over refusal to abort children Watch

Image of The ACLU is insisting that Catholic hospitals abort still-living children.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The ACLU is suing Trinity Health Corporation, a Michigan-based Catholic hospital chain, because the organization refuses to perform abortions. The suit is similar to one brought by the ACLU in 2013, that case was dismissed by a Federal court. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading

Baby born with rare medical mystery thrives Watch

Image of Baby Angelito was born with two tubes for a nose.


Baby Angelito was born with two tubes in place of a nose but his doctors are optimistic about his condition.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Daily Mail reported the medical mystery as well as Angelito's doctors' belief the infant will soon appear normal.The ... continue reading

20-million-year old flea carrying bubonic plague may be real reason dinosaurs went extinct Watch

Image of The Black Death plague devastated entire populations (Interfoto/Alamy)


Preserved in amber, a 20-million-year-old flea is believed to contain an ancient form of one of the world's deadliest bacteria: Black Death.  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (Catholic Online) - According to the Journal of Medical Entomology, the fossilized bacteria is ... continue reading

Baby born missing majority of skull miraculously beats the odds, reaches first birthday Watch

Image of


Doctors said that Jaxon Buell only had a few days to live after his birth. The boy was born with a rare condition called the Microhydranencephaly, which left the majority of his skull unable to form. Despite the odds, Jaxon is strong and recently celebrated a milestone ... continue reading

New dangerous cluster of Legionnaires' disease reported in the Bronx Watch

Image of Legionnaires' disease is a lung bacteria that causes flue-like muscle pain, headaches, fevers, drowsiness, chills and in some cases delirium.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new cluster of Legionnaires' disease has been reported in the Bronx and is not related to the cluster outbreak in the Bronx earlier this summer that left 12 dead. NEW YORK CITY, NY (Catholic Online) - Fox5ny reported seven cases of Legionnaires' disease in the ... continue reading

Why fidgeting may actually be good for your health Watch

Image of


When you feel like fidgeting, don't worry about whether it's bad for you or not. New research shows that being restless and fidgeting at work can actually be good for your health. HOLLYWOOD, CA  (Catholic Online) - A series of studies showed that long periods of ... continue reading

What you need to know about the developmental process of Influenza Watch

Image of Inflammation associated with infection in the soft palate stimulates the sneezing and coughing. This propels the flu virus out of the mouth enabling it to spread easily.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Influenza, or "Flu," the respiratory ailment that hits hardest during the colder months, first develops on the roof of the mouth. That's the findings of researchers, who note that flu is then spread through coughs and sneezes. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading

All Health News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

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

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 4:12-21
12 'Let the nations rouse themselves and march to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 97:1-2, 5-6, 11-12
1 Yahweh is king! Let earth rejoice, the many isles ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 11:27-28
27 It happened that as he was speaking, a woman in ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 10th, 2015 Image

St. Francis Borgia
October 10: Francis was a young nobleman at the court of the King of Spain. ... Read More