New malaria mosquitoes are emerging in African cities, and experts are worried


Anopheles stephanie’s larvae – India’s main malaria vector of malaria – are now “abundantly present” in locations across Africa, researchers at the Netherlands Redbaud University Medical Center and the Armauer Hanser Research Institute in Ethiopia. Vectors are living organisms that can transmit infectious pathogens between humans or from animals to people.

This species of mosquito appeared in Africa only a few years ago. Now, this invasive pest “is abundantly present” in water containers in Ethiopia’s cities – and is susceptible to local strains of malaria, researchers have said.

Most African mosquitoes that can transmit malaria are known to breed in rural areas. However, experts were already concerned that this particular mosquito has found a foothold in urban areas, including cities in Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti, which researchers said could increase the risk of malaria for urban populations.

Malaria, which is spread by the bite of female anophilias mosquitoes, is both a preventable and treatable disease – yet 409,000 people died in 2019.

According to the World Health Organization, the African region accounted for 94% of all malaria cases and deaths in 2019.

Researchers studied whether mosquitoes would pose a health hazard by spreading local malarial parasites.

“To our surprise, Asian mosquitoes became even more susceptible to local malaria parasites than our Ethiopian mosquito colony. This mosquito appears to be a highly efficient spreader of the two main species of malaria,” Professor of Epidemiology Tiun Busema said. In a statement of tropical infectious diseases at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen.

Researchers warned that a study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on Wednesday should take swift action to stop the spread of mosquitoes to other urban areas on the African continent.

“We should target mosquito larvae in the places where they now occur and prevent mosquitoes from spreading over long distances, for example through airports and sea ports. If it fails, Africa’s big Urban malaria risk will increase in part, ”the study authors. Said Phitsam Tadessi, a doctoral student in the Department of Medical Microbiology at Redbaud University Medical Center.

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The findings of the study “were significant,” said Joe Lines, a professor of malaria control and vector biology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

“When these things first come, people go ‘It’s just a mosquito, and we’ll worry about it when it has a vector,” Lines, who was not involved in the study, told CNN.

“The point is, when you are new you can get rid of it, if you wait until it is well established, you notice that it is actually an outbreak of disease. Is causing … I’m sorry, it’s too late. You all can. They said manage the problem.

Previous examples of once regional mosquitoes “going global” such as the Asian tiger mosquito, which is now “in the process of invading northern Europe” should serve as a warning that urgent action is needed to tackle the problem, Lines said.

“I think we need a greater understanding of this at the continental level at the moment,” he said. “If we wait until now we don’t know much, it will be too late to get rid of it. It will no longer be a leg you want to get rid of, it’s a big part of one of the original mosquitoes.” Will. Of East Africa. ”

Lines warned that if Anopheles Stephanie spreads to cities in Africa, the consequences will be dire.

“The center of the cities is the only refuge in Malaria in parts of Africa so far,” he said. “But in the future, if Anopheles Stephanie is established, it will not happen now.”

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