Monday, December 12, 2016

Experimental insecticide explodes mosquitoes

In a new study, Vanderbilt pharmacologist Jerod Denton, Ph.D., Ohio State entomologist Peter Piermarini, Ph.D., and colleagues report an experimental molecule that inhibits kidney function in mosquitoes. What is interesting is that the molecule only affects the kidney function in mosquitoes, and not in other insects. The researchers used the mosquito Anopheles gambiae , which is the leading vector for both malaria and the Zika virus.

Over the past few decades, mosquitoes have evolved genetic resistances to different types of pesticides, making them harder to eliminate. Most of these pesticides target the nervous system, so Jerod Denton, Ph.D decided to try a different approach which target the kidneys. Essentially, the researchers are preventing mosquitoes from producing urine after they take a blood meal. The waste backs up and has no where to go, killing the mosquito. In order to do this, they have the inhibitor known as inhibitor VU041. VU041 to be effective when applied topically, which indicates that it potentially could be adapted as a sprayed insecticide.

The most important part of VU041 is that it is not detrimental to important species in the environment, such as honeybees.


  1. This article is a very interesting one, as the study provides another method at combating mosquitoes while not targeting other organisms, such as the honey bee. Other than humans, mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous animals in the world because of the lethal diseases they carry, such as malaria and Zika virus. If the inhibitor VU041 molecule is applied to insecticides, it may be used to kill mosquitoes that drink too much blood and who potentially carry these diseases, therefore preventing its spread.

  2. I worked for the local Mosquito Commission in my home county for a period of time. The Larvicide we used was Vectobac 12as ( ), which was an aqueous suspension larvicide containing the bacteria Bacillus Thuringienis Israelensis.

    Bacteria would infect mosquito larva upon them consuming the larvicide. The bacteria would then eat away at their stomach lining, killing the larva before they molt into further instars.

    Very unique bacteria, because it only infected mosquito larva and black fly larva. Because of this, to my knowledge the compound (Vectobac 12AS) was very safe and green. However it is federally regulated and not available to unlicensed citizens.

  3. This is good and all, but the only thing I'm thinking is how will this effect other insects. Is there going to be a mass genocide of other insects in the area, or will this only effect mosquitoes? How will this effect the entire ecosystem as a whole. I know a lot of reptiles, amphibians, and bats eat mosquitoes, but is it their primary food source?