John on January 10, 2008 at 12:26 am
Malaria is not a problem in the United States, but it kills more than 1 million people each year across the globe. Many victims are children.
Lindhardt and his collaborators in 2003 found the receptor inside the human liver that allows the malaria infection to flourish. Building on that knowledge, Lindhardt’s team wanted to see if mosquitoes had the same receptor.
They dissected more than 5,000 frozen mosquitoes, separating out the insect’s salivary glands and digestive tract, where the disease resides in mosquitoes. It was grueling work under a microscope. Sure enough, the Anopheles stephensi, the mosquito that carries the form of malaria that infects humans, has the same receptor.
This revelation will allow researchers to pursue new forms of treatment targeting mosquitoes, Lindhardt said.
Cure the mosquitoes. That’s a new one.
Category: Science & Tech |