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Genetic resource will help develop new tools to support the campaign against malaria in Africa

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Populations of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes sampled in Africa, by country. For full-sized image, please click here. Image: Nature DOI: 10.1038/nature24995

The largest-ever genetic study of mosquitoes reveals the movement of insecticide resistance between different regions of Africa and finds several rapidly evolving insecticide resistance genes. Reported today (29 November) in Nature, this genetic resource will be used to develop new tools for monitoring resistance and managing insecticide use, and for designing novel control methods.

Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes and rising resistance to insecticides is hampering efforts to control the disease. The study by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators also discovered that wild mosquitoes collected in Africa were genetically far more diverse than had been thought. This helps to explain how mosquitoes evolve insecticide resistance so quickly.

More than 200 million people are infected with the malaria parasite worldwide each year, which is transmitted by blood-sucking Anopheles mosquitoes. Malaria caused the deaths of around 429,000 people in 2015* with the majority of cases in sub-Saharan Africa.

By |2018-02-06T17:36:22+00:00February 6th, 2018|

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