Wed­nes­day GM bac­terium may of­fer way to block malaria

China Daily (USA) - - NEWS CAPSULE -

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.

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