Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Mosquitoes, beware! Researchers at the U of A discovered a way to disrupt the pests' digestion after a blood meal, causing 90 percent of affected mosquitoes to die within 48 hours of feeding. The process could help the fight against mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever, yellow fever and malaria.
Per a UANews release:
When the researchers blocked a cellular process known as vesicle transport, on which the mosquitoes rely to release digestive enzymes into the gut among other functions, it caused the affected animals to die within two days of blood feeding.
"The idea behind our research is this: If we can kill the mosquito after she bites the first person, she won't be able to bite and infect a second," said Roger Miesfeld, a professor in the UA's department of chemistry and biochemistry, who led the research project.