Targeting sperm in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes can help combat malaria

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 15:27

Zee Media Bureau

London: In a new method to fight against malaria, researchers have suggested that reducing the fertility of malaria-carrying mosquitoes can serve as an effective new method to fight against the disease.

Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes are the main transmitters of malaria, which affects around 200 million people every year.  

Now, how do the Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes work? The answer is that female mosquitoes store the sperm while they mate and then repeatedly take sperm over the course of their lifetime to fertilise the eggs that they lay.

The new research reveals that the sperms are partly protected by the actions of an enzyme called HPX15. When the researchers interfered with HPX15 in female A. gambiae mosquitoes in the laboratory, the females fertilised fewer eggs and therefore produced fewer offsprings.

This is the first time that scientists have discovered a mechanism that preserves the function of sperm in A. gambiae.

The new research has been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

(With Agencies inputs)


First Published: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 - 11:54

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