Navigation Links
Penn State entomologists seek fungus to blunt mosquitoes' sense of smell
Date:5/7/2009

Sick people often lose their sense of smell and their appetite. If this happened to mosquitoes, they would not be able to feed on humans and spread malaria. A team of Penn State entomologists is looking for an insect disease that will infect mosquitoes and impair their sense of smell.

Supported by a recent $100,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges Explorations Initiative, the researchers were among 81 projects funded from more than 3,000 applications in the second round of the program. Grand Challenges focuses on novel approaches to prevent and treat infectious diseases, such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, pneumonia and diarrheal diseases.

The researchers, who include Thomas Baker and Matthew Thomas, professors of entomology and Andrew Read, professor of biology and entomology and Eberly College of Science distinguished senior scholar, are all part of Penn State's Centers for Chemical Ecology and for Infection Disease Dynamics. They plan to test a variety of naturally occurring insect pathogenic fungi.

"We will infect malaria mosquitoes with an insect-specific fungus to determine how much the infected mosquitoes' sense of smell is suppressed, thus reducing their ability to find human hosts and transmit malaria," said Thomas.

Mosquitoes transfer malaria parasites to humans when the female mosquitoes bite humans for blood meals to allow them to lay eggs. Male mosquitoes and non-reproducing females sip nectar or other sources of sugar for energy. Mosquitoes do not have noses, but smell using their antennae.

The researchers will infect batches of mosquitoes with a variety of fungi known to infect insects. They will expose the mosquitoes and an uninfected control group to potential mammalian blood meal -- an animal in an adjacent cage. Those mosquitoes that approach the warm-blooded food source will be separated out from those that are uninterested.

Once the researchers know the individual mosquito's behavior, they will investigate their olfactory receptor neurons to see if the fungus has impaired the mosquitoes' ability to smell. When the researchers identify fungi that will impair mosquito smelling ability, they will find ways to introduce the fungi into the environment so the mosquitoes can infect themselves.

"Our aim is to impregnate bed-nets or other things like eave curtains, hanging cloth or residual sprays in human dwellings with an insect infecting fungus like one already registered in Africa to control locusts and grasshoppers and infect malaria mosquitoes so that they no longer can smell and attack humans," the researchers said.


'/>"/>

Contact: A'ndrea Elyse Messer
aem1@psu.edu
814-865-9481
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Obesity and the central nervous system -- the state of the art
2. University of Minnesota study refutes belief that black men have more aggressive prostate cancer
3. Iowa State University conference examines developing bioeconomy
4. University and state agencies to forecast local health effects of climate change
5. K-State Veterinary Lab routinely tests for bluetongue virus
6. New prostate cancer research findings
7. Iowa State professors genome research published in the latest issue of Science
8. Leading researchers to reveal comprehensive dos and donts for prostate cancer
9. K-State chemistry professor to receive Masao Horiba award
10. K-State sociologists use Department of Energy grant
11. NIH grants $33 M in institutional development awards to 3 states
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/9/2016)... control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint attendance control software, allowing ... are actually signing in, and to even control the opening of doors. ... ... ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160609/377487 ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... , June 7, 2016  Syngrafii Inc. ... a business relationship that includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented ... branch project. This collaboration will result in greater ... the credit union, while maintaining existing document workflow ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160606/375871LOGO ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 The Department ... has awarded the 44 million US Dollar project, for the ... Vehicle Plates including Personalization, Enrolment, and IT Infrastructure , ... in the production and implementation of Identity Management Solutions. Numerous ... however Decatur was selected for the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 A person commits ... the crime scene to track the criminal down. ... U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) uses DNA evidence to ... Sound far-fetched? It,s not. The FDA has ... to support investigations of foodborne illnesses. Put as simply as ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June, 23, 2016  The Biodesign Challenge ... envision new ways to harness living systems and biotechnology, ... Art (MoMA) in New York City ... 130 participating students, showcased projects at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos ... Paola Antonelli , MoMA,s senior curator of architecture and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... In a new case report published today in STEM ... who developed lymphedema after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of ... dealing with this debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 On Wednesday, June ... 4,833.32, down 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% ... at 2,085.45, down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the ... Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ: NKTR ), Aralez Pharmaceuticals Inc. ... BIND ). Learn more about these stocks by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: