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Eliminating Mosquitoes using Toxin Fungus

Do you know you can eliminate mosquitoes using Toxin Fungus? The Fungus is genetically enhanced to produce toxins like the one produced by the spider, a study carried out in Burkina Faso suggests. Continue reading below to see how Eliminating Mosquitoes using Toxin Fungus is done.

Eliminating Mosquito using Genetically Modified Toxin Fungus

Mosquitoes bites usually cause horrible and itchy skin eruptions. New tools are needed to tackle malaria as mosquitoes are becoming resistant to insecticides. The World Health Organization has warned that cases are now increasing in Africa. 

The diseases that Mosquitoes carry and transmit to people they bite, affect more than 219 million people and kill over 400,000 people every year, which increases the burden of infectious diseases. This makes Mosquito the deadliest animal in the whole world.

Eliminating Mosquito using Genetically Modified Toxin Fungus

The researchers first identified a fungus called Metarhizium pingshaense, which naturally infects the Anopheles Mosquitoes that spread Malaria. Then they enhanced the fungus’s genetic code so it could start making the toxin once it was inside a mosquito

Laboratory tests showed the genetically modified fungus could kill quicker, and that it took fewer fungal spores to do the job. The next step was to test the fungus in as close to real-world conditions as possible.
A 6,500-sq-ft fake village – complete with plants, huts, water sources, and food for the mosquitoes – was set up in Burkina Faso. It was surrounded by a double layer of mosquito netting to prevent anything from escaping.

Eliminating Mosquito using Genetically Modified Toxin Fungus

The fungal spores were mixed with sesame oil and wiped onto black cotton sheets. The mosquitoes had to land on the sheets to be exposed to the deadly fungus. The researchers started the experiments with 1,500 mosquitoes.

The results, published in the journal Science, showed numbers soared when the insects were left alone. But when the spider-toxin fungus was used, there were just 13 mosquitoes left after 45 days.

The prospects for controlling mosquitoes using this modified fungus are high.

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