In a renewed hope to eliminate the menace of malaria on human health, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute have genetically modified a bacterium commonly found in the mosquito’s midgut, to kill the malaria parasite before it is transmitted.
The bacterium, Pantoea agglomerans, was modified to secrete proteins toxic to the malaria parasite, but the toxins do not harm the mosquito or humans. According to a study published by PNAS, the modified bacteria were 98 percent effective in reducing the malaria parasite burden in mosquitoes.
Dr. Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, Senior author of the study and a professor with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health said: “In the past, we worked to genetically modify the mosquito to resist malaria, but genetic modification of bacteria is a simpler approach. The ultimate goal is to completely prevent the mosquito from spreading the malaria parasite to people.”
View the original article here: Nigeria: Genetically engineered bacteria prevent mosquitoes from transmitting Malaria