University of Nebraska Medical Center

Malaria: Big city mosquitoes are a big problem — and now a big target

NPR Goats & Soda

About a decade ago, a new kind of mosquito began showing up in African cities. Native to Asia, Anopheles stephensi prefers crowded urban environments over rural ones. That spelled trouble: These mosquitoes transmit malaria.

It’s especially bad news for Africa where more than 93% of the world’s quarter-billion malaria cases were identified last year.

“The challenge relates to a new species invading an area in which most people have never been exposed to malaria,” says Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec, an environmental scientist at Emory University. “And that could lead to severe outbreaks and transmission — you know, epidemic malaria.”

New research by Vazquez-Prokopec and his collaborators, published in Lancet Planetary Health, may offer some hope.

The researchers found that a surge in construction could be giving A. stephensi the foothold it needs to survive year-round, which, in turn, suggests a number of interventions that might dramatically knock down the insects’ numbers.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.