Scientists have discovered a microbe that completely protects mosquitoes from being infected with malaria

Sunday, May 17th, 2020

Scientists have discovered a microbe that completely protects mosquitoes from being infected with malaria:

The malaria-blocking bug, Microsporidia MB, was discovered by studying mosquitoes on the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya. It lives in the gut and genitals of the insects.

The researchers could not find a single mosquito carrying the Microsporidia that was harbouring the malaria parasite. And lab experiments, published in Nature Communications, confirmed the microbe gave the mosquitoes protection.

Microsporidias are fungi, or at least closely related to them, and most are parasites.

However, this new species may be beneficial to the mosquito and was naturally found in around 5% of the insects studied.


  1. Ezra says:

    Half the humans that have ever lived either died from malaria or complications from malaria. Forget atomic bombs. Malaria does the job good enough.

  2. Kirk says:

    Hoo boy… This reads like most of the cautionary tales you hear about introducing a new organism into the environment.

    Study the hell out of this, sure–But, don’t go releasing it into the wild so that it takes over every single mosquito species. Also, have some respect for the freakin’ malaria, as well. By this point, it’s reached an equilibrium in the biosphere, and we really don’t know what else it does, besides kill people pretty well.

    I’m telling you, if you want to go knocking things around in the environment, you do it very carefully and very respectfully. I’m annoyed by mosquitoes just as much as the next person, but I don’t know what roles they fill in the environment, either. What are the knock-on effects? What happens if you take out the malaria, and then discover that it played a key regulatory role (somehow) in the environment?

    This is not something you just throw out there casually–You need to know everything that organism does in the biosphere, before you casually eliminate it.

    People are way, way too casual about this crap. Look at Australia and the rabbits, or the history of the various introduced species here in the US.

  3. Bruce says:

    Does it work for humans? Asking for a friend.

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