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:3/7/2017)... CITY , March 7, 2017   HireVue ... help top global companies identify the best talent, faster, ... as Chief Sales Officer (CSO) and Diana Kucer ... appointments round out a seasoned executive team poised to drive ... beyond, building on a year of record bookings in ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... , March 2, 2017 Summary This ... Perrigo and its partnering interests and activities since 2010. ... Read the ... and Alliance since 2010 report provides an in-depth insight into ... sciences companies. On demand company reports are prepared ...
(Date:3/2/2017)... March 2, 2017 Who risk to be ... Download the full report: https://www.reportbuyer.com/product/4313699/ WILL ... SENSOR FIELD? Fingerprint sensors using capacitive technology represent ... sensor vendor Idex forecasts an increase of 360% of ... and of the fingerprint sensor market between 2014 and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/22/2017)... The global chronic kidney disease ... by Transparency Market Research (TMR). The top four players, ... Inc., accounted for a share of only 41.4% in ... market are focusing aggressively on mergers, acquisitions, and strategic ... to lead to market consolidation in the next few ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... 2017   Boston Biomedical , an industry leader ... target cancer stemness pathways, today announced its Board of ... Chief Executive Officer, effective April 24, 2017. ... , M.D., FACP, who has led Boston Biomedical since ... leadership, Boston Biomedical has grown from a "garage startup" ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... Freeport, Grand Bahama (PRWEB) , ... March 21, 2017 , ... ... a free educational seminar as part of their live events series, “Stem Cell Therapy: ... adult stem cell facility under the 2013 Stem Cell Research and Therapy Act, ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , ... March 21, 2017 , ... ... , more than tripling its goal and raising over $30,000 in the first ... that grows nutritious veggies & herbs fast, easy, and affordably, anywhere. , “Simply ...
Breaking Biology Technology: