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Malaria Fears Rise As Mosquitoes Develop Resistance To Insecticide

Malaria fears rise as Anopheles Gambiae Mosquitoes in Africa seem to be developing resistance to insecticides used on bed-nets, while immunity seems to be less in humans.

Malaria fears rise as Anopheles Gambiae Mosquitoes in Africa seem to be developing resistance to insecticides used on bed-nets, while immunity seems to be less in humans.

A new study in Senegal has shown that mosquitoes are developing resistance to the insecticide which is used to treat bed nets. The netting is is used widely throughout Africa to stop malaria being spread by the mosquitoes, as it has been a long lasting solution, but the study suggests that the nets which are coated with an insecticide which is supposed to kill the mosquitoes is no longer a effective.

In fact the nets may be causing two problems, the study suggests. Mosquitoes are now becoming more resistant to the insecticide, but also while this is happening, people are becoming less immune to the malaria parasite, the study reports. However, some say the study is with too small a population sample. The study followed 500 people from the village of Dielmo from August 2008 for four years, and tracked the incidence of malaria both before and after using the nets.

The number of cases of malaria dropped quickly after nets were introduced by about 13 times lower than before nets were used.

Researchers also discovered that the mosquito species which is responsible for transmitting malaria to people in Africa, the anopheles gambiae, became more resistant to the pesticide used on the nets rising from 8 per cent resistant in 2007 to 48 per cent resistant in 2010.

More worrying was that during the last four months of the study, the incidence of malaria had risen back to high levels seen before the introduction of the bed nets, and in the case of older children and adults the rate was even higher.

In the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases, the researchers wrote “These findings are of great concern. They support the idea that insecticide resistance might not permit a substantial decrease in malaria morbidity in many parts of Africa.”

The World Health Organization, WHO reported that in 2009 alone 781,000 lives were lost to malaria.

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Keith is a multi-sport skills and fitness coach with more than 30 years sports and coaching experience; with a holistic view of health, he has also been a leader in applying plyometrics to youth teams.

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