SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Study finds mosquito gut bacterium could help prevent malaria, dengue fever

A study published in PLOS Pathogens on Thursday found that the Chromobacterium sp. (Csp_P) bacterium from the gut of an Aedes mosquito has the ability to reduce malaria and dengue infection in other mosquitoes.

The study detailed how the bacterium can inhibit the pathogens in a scientific test tube and can shorten the life span of the mosquitoes that have the ability to transmit both diseases.

George Dimopoulos and fellow researchers from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore examined both mosquitoes and pathogens, and determined that Csp_P may fight malaria and dengue fever at several different levels. By adding Csp_P to sugar water given to mosquitoes, the researchers found that the bacterium quickly inhabited the gut of Aedes aegypti and Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.

The bacterium, probably through the production of toxic metabolites, can stop the growth of the malaria parasite at various stages during the life cycle of the parasite and can inhibit the growth of bacteria.

The study's authors suggested that the toxic metabolites could be developed into medications to treat malaria and dengue fever.

"Its broad-spectrum anti-pathogen properties together with its ability to kill mosquitoes make Csp_P a particularly interesting candidate for the development of novel control strategies for the two most important vector-borne diseases, and they therefore warrant further in-depth study," the study's authors said.

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