According to a recent article, the world’s most dangerous malaria-carrying mosquito is in the midst of evolving into two different species. Found throughout the African continent, the Anopheles gambiae species is responsible for about half of the 250-500 million new cases of malaria each year.
Much of the scientific research surrounding malaria involves finding ways to control the mosquitoes that spread the disease — just a couple months ago, we blogged about research that could lead to a malaria-free mosquito. “Our studies help us to understand the makeup of the mosquitoes that transmit malaria, so that we can find new ways of preventing them from infecting people,” said Professor George Christophides of London’s Imperial College.
With many of the studies focused on the Anopheles gambiae, the question arises: will an eradication strategy focused on one genetic strain work on both of them? At this point, scientists are hopeful, but unsure. And what we know for certain is that the life-saving bed nets you’re working hard to send are producing results — in the last 10 years, they’ve contributed to an 18% reduction in child malaria mortality in 34 malaria-endemic African countries.
We’re always optimistic about new malaria research and the potential to bring an end to malaria once and for all. Keep spreading the buzz, sending nets, and saving lives!