Could a fungus stop malaria?

Every year, malaria kills 400,000 people in the world.  Malaria is spread by mosquitoes.

Now researchers have introduced a fungus which kills 99% of the infected mosquitoes!

The fungus, Metarhizium pingshaense, naturally infects mosquitos.   The researchers genetically engineered the fungus, by mixing its genes with the genes from venomous spiders.

The researchers then mixed the fungus with oil, and wiped it onto black cotton sheets.  Once the mosquitoes landed on the sheets, they would be infected with the fungus, and the toxin would then kill the mosquitoes.

The first trial was in Burkina Faso, and the mosquito population decreased by 99% within 45 days.

The tests showed the fungus did not kill other insects, only the mosquitoes.

mosquito

 

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