Scientists discovered hybrid insecticide-resistant mosquito in Mali

Jan 15, 2015 10:27 IST

A team of researchers led by Gregory Lanzaro of University of California-Davis have discovered a super mosquito hybrid in the West African country of Mali that is resistant to insecticide-treated bed nets.

The findings of the discovery were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on 6 January 2015.

Findings
• The study revealed the evolution of a new mosquito species that is resistant to the insecticides.
• The new hybrid species is also the result of a kind of gene-swapping known as adaptive introgression that occurred with the increased usage of insecticide-treated bed nets.
• The findings are strong evidence that man-made changes such as an introduction and use of nets can alter evolution of species.
• There is an urgent need to develop new and effective malaria vector control strategies.

Study Process
Anopheles gambiae, one of the mosquito species most heavily responsible for the spread of malaria in West Africa, has been mating with the other species Anophele coluzzii for a long time.

It is the result of this mating between two existing species that a new Super mosquito evolved and has proven itself to be resistant to bed nets treated with malarial insecticide.

The growing resistance was observed by the researchers for some time. But, recently it reached a level where it is resulting in the failure of the nets to provide meaningful control.

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