Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/10/2013 (1 year 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.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/10/2013 (1 year 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 January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Health

Ancient Siberian brain surgeries reenacted in present day Watch

Image of Amazingly, these brain surgeries were accomplished with little more than crude knives.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is amazing what Russian surgeons of 2,300 years ago were capable of. Delicate brain surgeries - found in the skeletal remains of Siberian patients, point to great sophistication and skill. Modern day doctors have since recreated these surgeries, opening a ... continue reading


Mystery illness leaves more than 100 kids paralyzed with poliolike symptoms Watch

Image of Doctors have no idea what is really causing paralysis in more than 100 kids throughout the United States.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

More than 100 kids have been infected with a mysterious illness that causes poliolike symptoms of paralysis in the United States since August 2014. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reports of the illness began surfacing around the same time enterovirus D68, a severe ... continue reading


Growing the Church in China

Image of

By John Smagula

The world's best teas are grown in China, but many of these teas are unknown in the United States. Remote tea farms in exotic locations produce teas that rarely reach the American teacup. Of the 1.75 million tons of tea that China produces each year, less than 2% is ... continue reading


Teenage Mutant Ninja mosquitoes may be unleashed in the Florida Keys Watch

Image of It will mark the first time that insects with modified DNA will be set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While it may sound like a science fiction film straight out of the 1950s, genetically modified mosquitoes may shortly be unleashed on the Florida Keys. While sounding very sinister and threatening, the reason is benign. British researchers win approval to use ... continue reading


Is this it? Has the cure for cancer been found? New proton therapy offers great hope to cancer patients Watch

Image of There are currently 121 Proton Therapy centers around the world, according to CNN.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The battle to cure cancer is one that has been continuously fought for decades. Chemotherapy, radiation, monoclonal antibodies and surgery have all had their fare share in beating cancer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Chemotherapy has had many success stories, ... continue reading


KILLER FLU: 8.5 percent of all deaths nationally, ending January 10 were due to pneumonia and influenza Watch

Image of It most also be noted that the center does not track adult deaths, but does keep track of the number of children who die after having the flu.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

If you're a bit under the weather, join the club. According to the Centers for Disease Control, this year's flu season has returned to an epidemic level. For the week ending January 10, 8.5 percent of all reported deaths were due to influenza or pneumonia. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Bishops Invite All Catholics to Make a Digital Pilgrimage for Life

Image of

By USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities

When people hear the word "pilgrimage," many think of far-off destinations, such as Lourdes, Fatima, or Santiago de Compostela. Today, in the digital era, we have the opportunity to make a pilgrimage without ever leaving our hometown. In fact, the U.S. Bishops are ... continue reading


Walking, for life: Brisk 20-minute stroll found to extend life Watch

Image of A 20-minute walk at a vigorous pace or a cycle ride of the same duration moves an individual from being classed as inactive to moderately inactive.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Walking has always been the favored low-impact exercise that most everyone can accomplish. Now, researchers say that a daily 20-minute walk could reduce the risk of an early death by almost a third. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Couch potatoes," those who ... continue reading


Amazing new spinal implant heals paralysis Watch

Image of Composed of silicone and platinum with stretchable gold interconnects that transmit and transfer electrical signals.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For years researchers, doctors and scientists have tried to find a way to bring movement back to paralyzed patients. Recent progress has been made; flexible, soft spinal implants that send electrical signals are showing strong potential in healing paralysis, according ... continue reading


Do you have this cancer-causing gene? Scientists find gene that causes deadly form of breast cancer Watch

Image of A new study has revealed the gene that causes one of the most aggressive and hard to treat forms of breast cancer, and may point the way to an effective treatment or preventative method.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is new hope for women suffering with, or at high risk for, breast cancer. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England have discovered what triggers triple-negative breast cancer, which is fast growing, ... 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, Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19
1 Only faith can guarantee the blessings that we hope ... Read More

Psalm, Luke 1:69-70, 71-72, 73-75
69 and he has established for us a saving power in ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:35-41
35 With the coming of evening that same day, he said ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 31st, 2015 Image

St. John Bosco
January 31: What do dreams have to with prayer? Aren't they just random ... 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