A team at INSERM (the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research) has identified a gene that makes certain mosquitoes malaria resistant.
According to the researchers, these mosquitoes could become our allies in the battle against malaria.
As we know, malaria parasites have to spend part of their life inside mosquitoes and part inside humans.
By discovering how these mosquitoes become malaria resistant we may be able to develop new tools that will limit transmission of the disease to humans, explains Stéphanie Blandin of INSERM.
With her colleagues, she studied the entire DNA of the anopheles mosquito – the principal vector of the parasite responsible for the most severe form of the disease in Africa.
And by focusing on the mosquito’s resistance to the parasite used as an experimental model in rodents, she was able to isolate the gene involved in this resistance mechanism. The search continues...