Latest Plasmodium berghei Stories
Spraying malaria-transmitting mosquitoes with a genetically modified fungus can kill the malaria parasite without harming the mosquito, potentially reducing malaria transmission to humans.
There are over 200 million cases of malaria each year and, according to the World Health Organisation, in 2009 malaria was responsible for 781,000 deaths worldwide.
The majority of fatal cases of malaria are caused by infection with the parasite Plasmodium falciparum.
Scientists have discovered a new type of mosquito that is unlike any that have been documented before and could complicate the fight against malaria even further.
In notable back-to-back papers appearing in the prestigioous journal Science in October, teams of researchers, one led by Nora Besansky, a professor of biological sciences and a member of the Eck Institute for Global Health at the University of Notre Dame, provided evidence that Anopheles gambiae, which is one of the major mosquito carriers of the malaria parasite in Sub-Saharan Africa, is evolving into two separate species with different traits.
Two strains of the type of mosquito responsible for the majority of malaria transmission in Africa have evolved such substantial genetic differences that they are becoming different species.
Scientists at The University of Nottingham and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute near Cambridge have pin-pointed the 72 molecular switches that control the three key stages in the life cycle of the malaria parasite and have discovered that over a third of these switches can be disrupted in some way.
The parasite that causes the most deadly strain of malaria in humans appears to have originally crossed the species barrier from gorillas.
Scientists at the University of Arizona have achieved a breakthrough in the fight against malaria: a mosquito that can no longer give the disease to humans.
- A serpent whose bite was fabled to produce intense thirst.