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Malaria Fighting Fungus Among Us

Most of us cringe when someone says the word “fungus” or “mold”. What we have been taught about fungus and mold is that in most cases, both are nasty substances that can cause illness and are generally just unpleasant substances. We are hardwired to do so because most of the things we have learned about fungus and mold have been negative.

We can now look at these substances in a different light. Scientists have discovered a fungus that kills malaria. It is a new potential weapon in the fight against malaria.

Metarhizium anisopliae is a parasitic fungus that is loaded with a chemical found in scorpion venom. This fungus infects a wide span of insects, including the mosquito which spreads malaria.

Metahizium Anisopliae is found in soils everywhere. The spores germinate when the mosquito makes contact and thus fungus invades the mosquito’s body, slowly killing it. Researchers have taken this naturally occurring fungus and genetically modified it. The reason for this modification is the timing of the fungus in relation to the incubation of malaria.

Go ahead, try to bite me you little bugger. You'll be sorry...

The fungus and the malaria both have about a two-week period until fruition. The fungus takes about two weeks to finish off the mosquito and the malaria takes about two weeks to mature in the mosquito enabling it to infect a human. By genetically altering the fungus researchers can speed up the death process in the mosquitoes. This way a malaria infected mosquito will die before it can pass this sometimes fatal disease to humans.

The bites of malaria carrying mosquitoes are Dread Skeeter’s worst enemies. Dread says thanks Mold! Let’s work together to fight mosquitoes and bites.