The Mosquito-Born Disease of Malaria

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Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease resulting from protozoans of the genus Plasmodium. Four Plasmodium species are parasitic to humans, with transmission occuring through a mosquito bite. This disease is responsible for the death of millions annually, while continuously threatening almost half the global population (Pechenik, 2010). Indicators of malaria typically emerge within one to two weeks of the mosquito bite, and often result in various flu-like symptoms. Malaria is life threatening if left untreated.
Findings in Research Focus Box 14.1
Plasmodium eggs are fertilized in the mosquito host, migrating to the mosquito’s midgut where they enter an infective stage. The study specified in “Research Focus Box 14.1” stemmed from biologists attempting to genetically manipulate mosquitoes to prevent malarial parasites from maturing into an infective state. Without entering this stage, Plasmodium cannot be transmitted to a new host. Using previous findings of the prevention of parasite maturity by engineering mosquitoes possessing the peptide SM1, the study proposed to determine the success of engineered mosquitoes with SM1 peptides compared to wild-type mosquitoes. Experiments were conducted using the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei along with engineered mosquitoes expressing SM1 and unaffected mosquitoes (Pechenik, 2010).
Investigation of the mosquitoes took place in cages, each containing 250 nontransgenic mosquitoes of one gender and 250 transgenic mosquitoes of the
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