Fungus Knocks Out Malaria In Mosquitoes

By Joe Palca, NPR

Scientists have come up with a new approach to controlling malaria. Instead of killing the mosquito that transmits the malaria parasite, the researchers have found a way to let the mosquito live, while killing the parasite inside it.

The technique involves a fungus called Metarhizium anisopliae. It’s a fungus that can penetrate directly into a mosquito.

“The insect literally fills up with fungus,” says Raymond St. Leger of the University of Maryland. Ultimately, filling up with a fungus is a bad thing for the mosquito. With time, the fungus will kill the mosquito, but at first, it’s just an annoyance to the insect.

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