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New Research On Why Some Mosquitoes Carry Malaria Better Than Others

Malaria is responsible for between 470,000 and 789,000 deaths each year – mostly among poor children in Africa. Past research has shown that some species of mosquitoes are better at transmitting malaria than their close relatives. While the illness if both preventable and curable, this new research is a baby step in the direction of one day eliminating malaria, reports Nature World News.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 450 different Anopheles species around the world. Malaria is spread through infected female Anopheles mosquitoes that carry the Plasmodium parasite that is transmitted when bitten. Out of the 450 different species, only 20 are “locally important” and recent research revealed that from this group, only 16 species have varying capabilities for transmitting malaria and adapting to new environments.

The illness is very vicious and aggressing, causing chill, vomiting and fever on the first day of symptoms, and quickly escalating into severe anaemia, respiratory distress, or even cerebral problems. The new research showed how the most dangerous species, Anopheles gambiae, is able to increase its transmission capabilities by swapping genes at the chromosomal level.