These blood-sucking tyrants, not only let loose a string of profanities in the wake of their itch-full stings but now they are also taking away the satisfaction of smacking flat their tiny spindly bodies. According to the latest research from scientists at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) in the United Kingdom, there are two species of malaria-bearing mosquitoes that possess the demonic powers of pre-identifying insecticides through their immensely gross-looking, stick-thin legs.
Speaking on this groundbreaking study, Postdoctoral Research Associate and first author, Victoria Ingham says that, “The protein, which is based in the legs, comes into direct contact with the insecticide as the insect lands on the net, making it an excellent potential target for future additives to nets to overcome this potent resistance mechanism,”
This research is devastating in many aspects as not only does it increase the threat of a malaria outbreak, but it also demands much reworking of existing mosquito repellant systems. According to David Szondy, ‘Genetic studies of the West African mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae and Anopheles coluzzii show that binding proteins on the insects’ legs help them avoid bed nets that have been treated with mosquito-killing chemicals.’
Just when you thought you were not capable of hating mosquitos any more than you already do, they go ahead and prove you terribly wrong!
On a brighter note, however, the LSTM researchers also posit that insecticide detection may be made easier for mosquitoes because of the poor quality bed nets in Western Africa. If this is the case, then measures should be taken to increase the efficacy of these nets so as to make the dispelling of malaria-carrying mosquitoes easier. As upsetting as the results of this research may be, they reignite efforts to find new measures that can squash dead these buzzing nuisances while keeping in mind their insecticide resisting superpowers.
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Source: National Geographic