‘Diet drugs’ suppress mosquitoes’ thirst for blood
Method shows promise for disease control, but practical hurdles remain.
A hungry mosquito is at best a nuisance; at worst, it is a transmitter of deadly diseases.
Now, researchers have discovered a way to stop mosquitoes biting — by using human ‘diet’ drugs to trick them into feeling full. The scientists suggest that the drugs could one day be used to control the spread of diseases. Their results are reported in Cell on 7 February 1.
“It’s an excellent study,” says Clare Strode, a mosquito biologist at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk, UK. There’s a long way to go before the method can be used in the wild, she says, but “as a proof of principle, it’s very promising”.
By: Matthew Warren/Nature News