A Cocktail to Combat Malaria

A genetically modified fungus that kills malaria-carrying mosquitoes could provide a breakthrough in the fight against the disease, according to researchers. Trials in Burkina Faso found that a fungus, modified so that it produces spider toxin, quickly killed large numbers of mosquitos that carry malaria. Within 45 days, mosquito populations were drastically reduced by more than 90%, according to researchers at the University of Maryland and the IRSS research institute in Burkina Faso. Researchers selected a fungus, Metarhizium pingshaense, which naturally infects malaria-carrying mosquitoes. This fungus was then genetically modified so that it would produce a toxin found in the venom of a species of funnel-web spider.  Laboratory trials showed that the genetically modified fungus killed mosquitoes more quickly, with fewer spores, than wild fungus, according to the study, published in the journal Science.SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN

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