Health
How malaria parasite beats top insecticides
Publish Date: Feb 28, 2014
How malaria parasite beats top insecticides
  • mail
  • img
newvision

PARIS - Gene detectives on Tuesday said they had discovered how the parasite that causes malaria becomes resistant to DDT and to insecticides used in anti-malaria bednets.

The secret lies in just one change in the DNA code on a single gene, they said.

A singe mutation changes a normal gene for metabolism, known as GsTe2, into one that helps the mosquito break down the insecticide molecule so that it is no longer toxic.

Insecticide resistance is a major worry in the fight against malaria.

DDT, banned decades ago in many countries because of its damage to the environment, remains an important mosquito-killing tool in poor economies.

Chemicals called pyrethroids are also used to treat bednets, shielding infants against the insect.

Researchers led by Charles Wondji at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in England found a population of resistant Anopheles funestus mosquitoes in the western African state of Benin.

They unravelled the genome of the insects and compared it against a non-resistant strain of mosquitoes, to see what made things so different.

The answer: a mutation called L119F -- which was confirmed by looking at resistant mosquitoes in other parts of the world.

The team then introduced the mutant gene into fruit flies, a widely used laboratory tool. The insects themselves became resistant to both pyrethroids and DDT.

The work, reported in the journal Genome Biology, has opened the way to a test to spot emerging insecticide resistance in mosquitoes.

"Such tools will allow control programmes to detect and track resistance at an early stage in the field," said Wondji. "This significant progress opens the door for us to do this with other forms of resistance as well, and in other... species" that transmit malaria.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
UN irons out roadmap to end poverty
The hugely ambitious roadmap is aimed at wiping out poverty worldwide by 2030 and taking on climate change....
Breakthrough in quest for Ebola vaccine
An Ebola test vaccine provided blanket protection in a field trial in Guinea, researchers say....
Health CSOs discuss funding of AIDS Trust Fund
Health Sector CSOs involved in the HIV/AIDS response have met to discuss the funds and management of the AIDS Trust Fund....
Cases of head and neck cancers ‘on the rise’
Cases of head and neck cancers are on the rise at the Uganda cancer Institute (UCI), according to a medical expert....
HIV infections in Kasese not receding
The rate of HIV infections in Kasese district is not receding especially in the urban centres and the fishing villages, says the area secretary for social services....
Crackdown sees illegal drugs operators arrested
In a bid to curb drug thefts and misuse, the National Drug Authority (NDA) carried out an operation in parts of the city during which various drugs were impounded....
Should faith based organisations be registered as Non-government organisations?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter