Scientists at Johns Hopkins are hoping so. Malaria is an awful disease. It kills about a half a million people a year, mostly children. While most cases are in African regions, the CDC reports approximately 1,700 cases exist in the United States every year.
Malaria Research Continues with Malaria Resistant Mosquitoes
Strange ideas have been thought of before, like apps that track mosquitoes listening to their buzz or killer mosquitoes that hunt down infected ones. And while they may not have worked, the scientist community presses on.
This leads us to the latest idea: mosquito resistant mosquitoes. They are genetically engineering mosquitoes by removing the gene that helps malaria survive within the mosquito.
Researchers have been able to demonstrate that with the removal of this gene, the parasite that causes malaria could not survive within the mosquito long enough to cause harm to humans. Unfortunately, at this point, the modified mosquitoes appear to feed less, lay fewer eggs, and develop more slowly than their counterparts. So at this point they are not likely to take over the species.
But the work is not over. “A major problem with malaria control is that it is a disease of the poor developing world and requires active compliance and participation by the endemic population,” says George Dimopoulos, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The efforts to change the mosquitoes – instead of trying to conquer the disease by efforts of the people where resources are scarce, could be the solution the world is looking for.
At Mosquito Squad Southeastern Mass, we hope that children will soon be able to live a life free of the fear of malaria. We believe that with each crazy idea we become a step closer. We also believe it’s important to stop the growth of the mosquito population here at home. Our barrier treatment will do just that by eliminating 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard. Call us today to schedule your first mosquito mist and your first step towards a life free of mosquitoes.