Metarhizium phinghaense is a green fungus that has the ability to kill insects when they come in contact with it. This fungus is now undergoing studies to see if it can be used to kill insecticide-resistant mosquitoes that carry the Malaria pathogen and prevent the spread of disease.
Researchers have genetically modified the Metarhizium phinghaense fungus to carry a toxin responsible for killing off the mosquitoes, including those carrying Malaria pathogen, called the spider bite toxin. It is a hybrid toxin that enters the blood of mosquitoes, called hemolymph. This toxin not only kills the mosquito and stops the transfer of Malaria, but it kills the pathogen themselves so it can't be picked up within the environment.
Brkina Faso, West Africa
This genetic modification could be the start of bringing down Malaria cases more than 50% percent if everyone would plant them outside of there homes, villages, etc. The mortality rate would significantly decrease as well. Although this discovery has great benefits, what would be the consequence to genetically modifying the Metarhizium phinghaense fungus?
Original Article: Science News