Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[News article] A gut bacterium that attacks dengue and malaria pathogens and their mosquito vectors — ScienceDaily


A gut bacterium that attacks dengue and malaria pathogens and their mosquito vectors — ScienceDaily.

From the 23 October 2014 article

Just like those of humans, insect guts are full of microbes, and the microbiota can influence the insect’s ability to transmit diseases. A new study reports that a bacterium isolated from the gut of an Aedes mosquito can reduce infection of mosquitoes by malaria parasites and dengue virus. The bacterium can also directly inhibit these pathogens in the test tube, and shorten the life span of the mosquitoes that transmit both diseases.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by PLOS. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Jose Luis Ramirez, Sarah M. Short, Ana C. Bahia, Raul G. Saraiva, Yuemei Dong, Seokyoung Kang, Abhai Tripathi, Godfree Mlambo, George Dimopoulos. Chromobacterium Csp_P Reduces Malaria and Dengue Infection in Vector Mosquitoes and Has Entomopathogenic and In Vitro Anti-pathogen Activities. Plos Pathogens, October 23, 2014 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004398

October 24, 2014 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Newspaper Repels Mosquitoes, Makes Us Want To Give Print Another Chance

Screen Shot 2014-07-02 at 4.50.37 AM


This Newspaper Repels Mosquitoes, Makes Us Want To Give Print Another Chance.

From the 30 June Huffington Post article


The paper combined citronella essence — a highly effective and all-natural repellent — with the newspaper’s ink, enabling readers to coat their skin with a repellent that could keep mosquitoes away.

July 2, 2014 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fighting Malaria By Modifying Friendly Bacteria In Mosquito Gut

Malaria is preventable and curable

Malaria is preventable and curable (Photo credit: Novartis AG)

This method of malarial control is not without controversy***, especially among folks who are against genetic engineering of any kind.

Back in 1980-81 I came down with malaria four times in Liberia where I served as a Peace Corps volunteer. Each time I came down with it on a Tuesday after forgetting to take my weekly preventative (Chloroquine) on Sunday. Thankfully each time it was similar to a mild flu bug and I was back at work the next day.

Since then, Chloroquine is ineffective in Liberia. The malarial strains are much more virulent. Back in the early 80’s the virulent malarial strains in Africa were mostly in East Africa.

From the 17 July 2012 article at Medical News today

By genetically modifying gut bacteria in the malaria mosquito, US researchers have found a potentially powerful way to fight malaria. The modified “friendly” bacteria, which live in the midgut of the mosquito alongside the malaria parasite, produce toxins that are deadly to the parasite but do not harm humans or mosquitoes…

..”In the past, we worked to genetically modify the mosquito to resist malaria, but genetic modification of bacteria is a simpler approach.”..

…The battle against malaria has to be fought on a number of fronts: insect repellent and bed nets can help prevent transmission from mosquitoes to humans, but work like that of Jacobs-Lorena and colleagues helps to find ways to control malaria one step earlier by eliminating infection within the mosquito itself.

In May 2011, another team from Johns Hopkins University reported identifying a class of naturally occurring bacteria that can strongly inhibit malaria parasites in mosquitoes. They found the presence of Enterobacter reduced various developmental stages of P. falciparum, including the stage that is transmitted to humans through a mosquito bite, were reduced by 98 to 99%….

Related Resources


  • the Organic Review: GM Exterminators Inserted into Intestines to Stop Malaria
    “Those mosquitos that contained genetically modified gut bacteria, alternative to the actual GM mosquitos, have been proven to conquer Plasmodium bacterium in both human and rodent populations by nearly 100%. The question that remains is if such genetic modifications can cause other negative affects to healthy functioning parts or other bacteria in the mosquitos or is spread to other animals or humans. Results after further studying could possibly lead to new circumstances.” 

July 18, 2012 Posted by | environmental health | , , | Leave a comment

Microbial communities on skin affect humans’ attractiveness to mosquitoes – could be basis for antimalarial research

العربية: الأنوفيلة الغامبية، نوع من البعوض الن...

Image via Wikipedia

[Author’s note – I came down with malaria at least 3 timeswhile a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa (1980-81). Fortunately malaria was less virulent in West Africa than East Africa at the time. So, each bout was similar to a one day flu bug. Each time I came down with malaria, it was because I forgot to take the weekly preventive and came down with malaria two days later]

From the 29 December 2011 Eureka News Alert

The microbes on your skin determine how attractive you are to mosquitoes, which may have important implications for malaria transmission and prevention, according to a study published Dec. 28 in the online journal PLoS ONE.

Without bacteria, human sweat is odorless to the human nose, so the microbial communities on the skin play a key role in producing each individual’s specific body odor. The researchers, led by Niels Verhulst of Wageningen University in the Netherlands, conducted their experiments with the Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto mosquito, which plays an important role in malaria transmission. They found that individuals with a higher abundance but lower diversity of bacteria on their skin were more attractive to this particular mosquito. They speculate individuals with more diverse skin microbiota may host a selective group of bacteria that emits compounds to interfere with the normal attraction of mosquitoes to their human hosts, making these individuals less attractive, and therefore lower risk to contracting malaria. This finding may lead to the development of personalized methods for malaria prevention.


Citation: Verhulst NO, Qiu YT, Beijleveld H, Maliepaard C, Knights D, et al. (2011) Composition of Human Skin Microbiota Affects Attractiveness to Malaria Mosquitoes. PLoS ONE 6(12): e28991. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028991

Read the entire news release

December 30, 2011 Posted by | environmental health | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: