Transmission of malaria through mosquitoes
Female mosquitoes become infected with the malaria parasite when they eat it from humans with malaria, and can then transmit the parasite to other humans through their bites, but they themselves do not get sick.
Johns Hopkins University research team believes that a gene called SPRN6 enables mosquitoes to defend themselves. A discovery that could help in the fight against human malaria. “More research is needed, but we have plans to use this knowledge to develop new approaches to controlling the disease,” Dr. Marcelo-Jacob Lorna told the National Academy of Sciences.
Scientists hope to make chemical sprays that identify the SPRN6 gene in infected mosquitoes. As a result, these mosquitoes will no longer be a real threat to humans when bitten. Considering two types of mosquitoes, Anopheles stephensi and Anopheles gambia, Dr. Jacob Lorna et al. Found that the SPRN6 gene is normally inactivated in them. But when mosquitoes become infected with the malaria parasite, the gene is activated. To understand the role of this gene, they looked at events that, while trying to keep the gene silent, found that the number of malaria parasites in Anopheles stephensi mosquitoes tripled. With complete removal of the SPRN6 gene, the natural process by which Anopheles gambia mosquitoes rid themselves of malaria parasites was delayed.
“A number of genes have been found that appear to help mosquitoes fight the malaria parasite,” said Dr Alister Craig, of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. There are several ways to stop malaria. This type of research is really useful in this field. Using the host’s immune system and other strategies such as mosquito nets and anti-malarial drugs to defeat the disease is an interesting topic.
“This latest slide show provides a new and important insight into the mechanisms by which mosquitoes deal with malaria parasites,” said Professor Paul Fggleston, a professor of molecular entomology at Keel University. But it remains to be seen whether manipulation of the SPRN6 gene activity in Anopheles gambia can play a role in controlling human disease transmission. These organisms have had millions of years to improve their game, and we as scientists are expected to be just as ambitious in tackling them.
“It is possible that the parasite could evolve and find a way to deal with such a mechanism,” said Dr JO Lines of the London School of Tropical Health and Medicine.