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Report, 2014

Anopheles gut microbiota provide possibilities for the development of new strategies to prevent transmission of malaria

Nilsson, Louise


Every year, millions of people around the world are affected by malaria and many die from it. Attempts at eliminating and eradicating malaria have been made for over a hundred years but not succeeded, even though progress has been made. The most used prevention methods today are insecticides and drugs. However, the threat of resistance development in the mosquitoes and the parasites are forcing science to find new ways to prevent transmission and disease. One area of research involves the midgut bacteria of the vector mosquitoes. It has been shown that this has an effect on the parasite development. Studies have shown that there is a big diversity of bacteria found and different studies identify different numbers and different species of bacteria. The methods used for identifying the microbiota however has changed with technical development that might explain some of the differences observed. The identification of the midgut microbiota and what determines it, will hopefully lead to the identification of bacteria that can be used in one way or another to block the transmission of parasites in the malaria mosquitoes. A bacterium that has been suggested for disease reduction is Wolbachia, which modifies the host reproduction in order to spread. The identification of new malaria prevention methods is an opportunity to improve the lives of millions and the study of malaria-mosquito midgut bacteria might help towards this.


Gut microbiota; Paratransgenesis; Anopheles; Malaria

Published in

Introductory research essay (Department of Ecology, SLU)
2014, pages: 2-21
Publisher: Department of Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Authors' information

Nilsson, Louise
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Ecology

UKÄ Subject classification

Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology

URI (permanent link to this page)