Wednesday GM bacterium may offer way to block malaria
Chinese scientists may have found a way to stop mosquitoes from spreading malaria, which kills one child every two minutes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
A symbiotic bacterium that grows inside the bodies of mosquitoes was discovered by a team at the Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology in Shanghai and was genetically modified to carry anti-malaria genes that stop the development of the parasites in the insects’ intestinal tracts.
The bacteria can be spread among mosquitoes quickly and widely during mating and can be passed on to the next generation.
Malaria affects between 200 and 300 million people worldwide every year, according to the WHO. Infection is caused by Plasmodium, a parasite that is transmitted through mosquito bites.