19 March 2010

Mosquitoes – carriers of the vaccine

Malaria mosquitoes will become pharmacistsIvan Panin, Infox.ru
Scientists suggest making doctors out of malaria mosquitoes.

To do this, their genes must be changed so that mosquitoes become carriers not of the disease, but of a vaccine against it. It remains to be seen whether everyone is ready to get vaccinated against their own will.

Malaria mosquitoes, or anopheles – Anopheles stephensi – spread malaria and other infectious diseases. Millions of people annually become victims of anopheles, which, although not dangerous in themselves, spread malaria plasmodium and other human parasites.

Shigeto Yoshida and his colleagues from Jichi Medical University (Japan) managed to realize an old idea to turn a mosquito or mosquito into a natural vaccinator using genetic engineering methods.

"When arthropods, including mosquitoes, midges or ticks, suck up blood, they transmit numerous infectious agents," says Yoshida. – This includes malaria, which kills from one to two million people every year, which is especially true for children in Africa. The constant shortage of an effective vaccine means that the control of disease vectors becomes a crucial goal in the fight against the disease."

Researchers have bred transgenic mosquitoes, carriers of leishmaniasis – a disease caused by protozoan parasites Leishmania. After changing the function of their salivary glands, mosquitoes began to transmit a vaccine against the disease when bitten. According to Yoshida, the immune response in this case is produced in the same way as with a regular vaccination. "In addition, continuous bites in this case maintain a high level of immunity throughout life. Thus, the insect goes from being a pest to becoming useful," the scientist adds.

The proposed method of vaccination is quite feasible from a scientific point of view. But its implementation may be hindered by ethical issues. Uncontrolled vaccination, which does not require human consent and does not have a constant dosage, can be negatively met by society.

The results of the study are published in the journal Insect Molecular Biology.

Meanwhile, a couple of years ago, British and American scientists proposed a similar method of combating malaria. Then they bred transgenic mosquitoes resistant to infection with malaria plasmodium. Such an insect does not vaccinate when bitten, but it cannot become a source of the disease itself.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru19.03.2010

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