Scientists from Germany have identified three mosquito genes that control
how the insect's immune system responds to the malarial parasite. The work
could help lead to new antimalaria strategies by using the mosquito's own
immune system to block transmission of the infection from mosquitoes to humans
(Science. 2004;303:2030-2032) .
Two of the genes encode proteins that protect malaria parasites developing
in the insect's midgut; when these genes were inactivated, the insect's immune
system attacked and destroyed up to 97% of the parasites. The third gene helps
mosquitoes defend themselves against the malaria parasite; when this gene
was silenced, there was a fourfold increase in the number of parasites developing
in the mosquito's midgut.
Stephenson J. Blocking Malaria Transmission. JAMA. 2004;291(15):1826. doi:10.1001/jama.291.15.1826-b