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Malaria Mosquito Bites At Night Can Be Prevented

According to this new research the Malaria spreading mosquitoes can be suppressed from biting and also be manipulated to switch their flight behavior, with just 10 minutes of exposure to white light.

Malaria Mosquito Bites At Night Can Be Prevented

The Anopheles Gambiae mosquito is a major vector for the transmission of malaria in Africa

Mosquito borne diseases are a menace and we are forever looking at various means and ways of preventing breeding of mosquitoes and bites. many prevention methods have been listed like using repellents, not letting water collect outside or inside our homes, using nets, full sleeved clothes etc. Experts believe that these mosquitoes are becoming resistant to insecticides and are also shifting their feeding to earlier in the evening and later during the morning therefore changing their behavior. This is when the individual isn't sleeping in bed and the mosquito protective nets are not useful.

It has been found that the Anopheles Gambiae mosquito is a major vector for the transmission of malaria in Africa which have a greater propensity for nighttime biting. According to this new research these mosquitoes can be suppressed from biting and also be manipulated to switch their flight behavior, by just 10 minutes of exposure to white light.

Thus according to Giles Duffield, Associate Professor at the university we need to come up with novel ideas for mosquito prevention and control for vector borne diseases. Since the tools we have at the moment (insecticides and nets) are not sufficient enough. The findings, published in the journal Parasites and Vectors, suggests that light can be used to manipulate mosquitoes, thereby offering a potential novel solution for preventing bites and reducing malaria.

Also read World Malaria Day! Prevent Malaria Save Lives.

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The Anopheles Gambiae mosquito is a major vector for the transmission of malaria in Africa
Photo Credit: iStock


For the research the mosquitoes were divided into control and test groups. The control group mosquitoes were kept in the dark while the test group was exposed to a pulse of white light for 10 minutes. The results showed a significant suppression of the test group mosquitoes, in their propensity to bite.

In another experiment, mosquitoes were pulsed with light every two hours, and using this multiple pulse approach the team found that biting could be suppressed during a large portion of the 12 hour night. "Most remarkable is the prolonged effect a short light treatment has on their preference to bite, with suppression lasting as long as four hours after the pulse," Duffield said. "This may prove to be an effective tool that complements established control methods used to reduce disease transmission," he added.

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