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The World in Medicine
July 20, 2005

Curbing Malaria With Fungi

JAMA. 2005;294(3):297. doi:10.1001/jama.294.3.297-b

Researchers from Europe and Tanzania have found that certain fungi—some which are already used to kill agricultural pests—might be useful tools for killing the mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite.

In one study (Blanford et al. Science. 2005;308:1638-1641), researchers screened various fungi for their effects in killing mosquitoes in the laboratory. The investigators sprayed surfaces with fungi and found that when mosquitoes rested for several hours on these surfaces after a blood meal (a typical postfeeding behavior), most developed a fungal infection and ultimately died before the malaria sporozoites had matured. Even in the surviving mosquitoes, the fungi markedly reduced the parasites’ ability to develop and mature.

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