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Facing anti-malaria nets, mosquitoes alter habits

After two African villages started using mosquito nets to fight malaria, the local mosquitoes seemed to change their habits to skirt the barriers, a French study claimed.

world Updated: Sep 21, 2012 00:10 IST
Reuters

After two African villages started using mosquito nets to fight malaria, the local mosquitoes seemed to change their habits to skirt the barriers, a French study claimed.

Insecticide-treated bed nets are considered a central weapon in the global fight against malaria, which is transmitted by parasite-carrying mosquitoes and kills more than 650,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization.

In the study, French researchers zeroed in on mosquito behavior before and after households were given insecticide-treated nets.

They found that mosquitoes seemed to change their hours of ‘peak aggression’ from 2 am or 3 am to around 5 am three years after nets were put up. The finding is ‘worrying’ since villagers usually wake up before dawn to work in crops, and as such are not protected.

First Published: Sep 21, 2012 00:09 IST