GM fungus dey kill 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests

Mosquito Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image example Malaria na parasite wey dey spread through blood sucking mosquitoes

Report wey sabi pipo do show say fungus - wen dem make to produce spider toxin - fit kill huge numbers of di mosquitoes wey dey spread malaria.

Trials, wey dem do for Burkina Faso, show say mosquito populations collapse by 99% within 45 days.

Di researchers say dia aim no be to make di insects extinct but to help stop di spread of malaria.

Di disease, wey dey spread when female mosquitoes drink blood, dey kill more than 400,000 people per year.

Around di world, e get around 219 million cases of malaria everi year.

Wen dem dey do di study, sabi pipo for University of Maryland wey dey America - and IRSS research institute for Burkina Faso - find one fungus wey dem call Metarhizium pingshaense, wey dey infect di Anopheles mosquitoes wey dey spread malaria.

For di next stage dem enhance di fungus. Prof Raymond St Leger, from the University of Maryland, tell BBC News say di thing dey easy to modify.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image example Dem add di instructions inside di spider genetic code

Them turn di toxin wey dey inside di venom of one particular kind of funnel-web spider wey dey Australia.

Dem add di genetic instructions to make di toxin to di fungus so e go dey make am wen e dey inside mosquito.

"Spider dey use dia fangs (wey be dia shrp cutting teeth) to put hole/cut di skin of insects and inject toxins, we replace di fangs of di spider with di fungus wey dem dey call Metarhizium," Prof St Leger tok.

Di tests wey dem do for lab show say di fungus wey dem create dey kill quicker, and e dey use am small small to do di job. Di next step na to test di fungus for real life.

Dem create fake village for Burkina Faso - wey get plants, huts, water sources and food for di mosquitoes. Dem come surround am with double layer of mosquito net so no one go escape.

Image copyright Etienne Bilgo
Image example Di "mosquitosphere" tests di fungus for di real world.

Dem come mix di fungal spores wit sesame oil and dem wipe am on black cotton sheets. Di mosquitoes gats land on di sheets to be expose to di deadly fungus. Di researchers start di experiment wit 1,500 mosquitoes.

Di results, wey dem publish for di journal Science, show numbers wey dey rise wen di insects wen dem leave alone. But wen dem use spider-toxin fungus na only 13 mosquitoes remain after 45 days.

Image copyright Oliver Zida
Image example Breeding pool for mosquito inside the test area

Dr Brain Lovett, from University of Maryland tok say di thing kill di mosquitoes for two generations.

Di tests also show say di fungus only affect mosquitoes and no affect other insects like bees.

He add say: "Our technology no one remove mosquitoes forever, but we want break malaria transmission for area."

New tools dey important to fight malaria as insecticides no dey work for mosquitoes again. The World Health Organization warn say cases dey increase for 10 worst affected countries for Africa.

Image copyright Brian Lovett
Image example Mosquito wey dem don infected with fungus marked in green

Topics Wey Dem Resemble

Another thing we de for inside dis tori