Researchers propose larvae control to target malaria

Zee Media Bureau/Shruti Saxena

London: Although, there has been a steady decline in malaria related deaths signalling a good progress in fight against this life-threatening disease, researchers still feel that new methods are needed to control the disease in order to put a check on the number of cases of malaria in Africa and Asia.

Researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine have proposed authorities to use a new approach called “larval source management (LSM)”. This method involves targeting mosquito larvae and pupae as they mature in standing water.

The LSM method involves targeting mosquito breeding sites by removing standing water in drains or filling land or larviciding by adding chemicals or biological larvicides to standing water to kill larvae.

However, there is a lack of consensus on how effective the LSM method can be and in which settings it is appropriate.

Malaria is an infectious mosquito-borne disease caused by plasmodium. It begins with a bite from an infected female anopheles mosquito, which infects red blood cells. The parasites are spread to people through the bites of infected Anopheles mosquitoes, called ‘malaria vectors’. The disease remains inextricably linked with poverty as the highest malaria mortality rates are being seen in countries that have the highest rates of extreme poverty.