From Quartz Africa
May 7, 2020
Scientists in Kenya have discovered a novel method with significant potential to completely stop mosquitos from transmitting the parasites which cause malaria in humans.
The team of scientists, mostly from Kenya and the UK, plus one from South Africa, have been studying mosquitoes on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya. They discovered that Microsporidia MB, a microorganism that lives in a mosquito’s gut and reproductive tract, completely protects the mosquito from being infected with plasmodium, the parasite that causes malaria.
Microsporidia are fungi, or at least closely related to them. Like plasmodium, which are protozoans, they are also known to live inside mosquitoes as parasites. Mosquitoes inject their saliva into the skin to facilitate blood-feeding. Their saliva sometimes contains plasmodium, which is usually injected together with their saliva resulting in malaria transmission. According to the study, the Microsporidia MB reduces the establishment of the Plasmodium falciparum parasite in the guts of the mosquitoes, and impairs the colonization of the salivary glands by the parasite.