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Mosquitoes turn their back on malaria

Scientists have found a particular type of mosquito in West Africa that is naturally resistant to malaria and could be helpful in combating the disease.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 12:26 IST

Scientists have found a particular type of mosquito in Mali in West Africa that is naturally resistant to malaria and could be helpful in combating the disease.

A team, which includes researchers from the University of Bamako in West Africa and three top US-based institutes, said that they have also identified a gene that could be the key to determining secret behind the resistance.

The team found that many Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes -- Africa's most important malaria vector -- are already resistant to Plasmodium falciparum, the malaria parasite.

Malaria is an infectious disease characterised by cycles of chill, fever and sweating caused by the parasitic infection of red blood cells by a protozoan that is transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito.

It affects approximately 300 million people worldwide and kills between one and 1.5 million people every year.

First Published: Apr 29, 2006 12:26 IST