News / Africa

African Scientist’s Research on Mosquito Swarms Awarded

African Scientist’s Research on Mosquito Swarms Wins Awardi
X
November 04, 2013 8:28 PM
A scientist from Burkina Faso has won an award from Britain’s Royal Society for his research on new ways to target mosquito swarms responsible for the spread of malaria. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London that scientists say it’s vital to develop new tools to tackle the disease as both the malarial parasite, and the mosquitoes that carry it, are developing resistance to existing drugs and insecticides.
Henry Ridgwell
A scientist from Burkina Faso has won an award from Britain’s Royal Society for his research on new ways to target mosquito swarms responsible for the spread of malaria. Scientists say it’s vital to develop new tools to tackle the disease as both the malarial parasite, and the mosquitoes that carry it, are developing resistance to existing drugs and insecticides.

The research by Dr. Abdoulaye Diabate focused on the reproductive patterns of male mosquitoes - and his findings have caught the attention of scientists around the world.

“The important thing about this mating system is that whenever you go into a field site, you will find mosquito swarms at the same place every single day. This kind of makes it really very easy to target, to tackle these mosquitoes and see how you can just reduce mosquito density,” said Diabate.

Burkina Faso has one of the highest rates of malaria in the world. Diabate found that during the rainy season in Burkina Faso, some houses contained 900 mosquitoes. He said the discovery that the insects swarm together to mate in the same place year in, year out presents an opportunity to disrupt breeding patterns.

“So if you can succeed in killing the male, what will happen is that you will have a strong bias in male-female ratio. So you will have more females than males. And because the female needs the male to mate, then to be able to lay eggs, so if there is no male, no mating, no eggs, no mosquitoes. And in this case, no malaria,” he said.

The research opens the door for new malaria control technologies, such as engineered mosquitoes and sterile insect techniques.

Diabate will receive $95,000 toward his research as part of the 2013 Royal Society Pfizer Award.

Professor Sir Brian Greenwood of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a member of the award selection committee, said, “So far, we’ve relied very much on using insecticide-treated bed nets. But there are concerns of resistance to the insecticides that are used for treating nets. And so really developing novel ways of controlling malaria vectors in very important.”

Despite scientific advances, malaria kills an estimated 660,000 people every year - most of them children.

Next year, the British firm GlaxoSmithKline plans to submit an application to market the world’s first malaria vaccine, known as RTS,S. The World Health Organization says it could be rolled out by 2015. Greenwood has helped to develop the drug.

“It probably gives about 50 percent protection in older children for perhaps three or four years. Unfortunately, it’s less effective in the very young ones who we want to protect. And 50 percent is not 100 percent which is what we would like. But it is a step in the right direction,” said Greenwood.

Meanwhile, Diabate said he hopes winning the prize will inspire researchers across Africa to focus on ways of tackling malaria.

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Micheal olakunle from: nigeria
November 05, 2013 1:13 AM
good job

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs