Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Experimental Insecticide Explodes Mosquitos

In a new study by University of Vanderbilt shows a experimental molecule that causes kidney failure in mosquitos which leads them to explode. 
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Vanderbilt pharmacologist Jerod Denton, Ph.D., Ohio State entomologist Peter Piermarini, Ph.D., and colleagues have aimed their study's at Anopheles gambiae which is the main cause of malaria in the world, and also Aedes aegypti which is the main transmitter of the Zika virus.  Over decades mosquitoes evolve more and more to genetic resistance to insecticides which target their immune system.  The study shows kidney failure, but not just kidney failure Malpighi an tubule failure. 

"We're essentially preventing mosquitoes from producing urine after they take a blood meal," said Denton, associate professor of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology.

When a mosquito takes a blood meal their body weight at least doubles or triples in size.  Besides providing nutrients to mosquitos blood meals also carry toxic salts which can depolarize cell membrane if not quickly voided.  So this is all a rapid process to the mosquito.  What the compound does would stop urine production the mosquito.  After this happens the mosquito would swell up and burst.  However this is only targeting the blood feeding mosquitos which are females. 

"By targeting blood feeding female mosquitoes, we predict that there will be less selective pressure for the emergence of resistant mutations," Denton said

I believe this compound could greatly help in regulating mosquitos.  It would also decrease the risk of malaria, Zika and other viruses. 



  1. This is great, by targeting females who are the carries of many diseases this will help so much in less developed countries. The use of environmental friendly bacteria who feed on mosquito eggs may also help with stopping reproduction as well as not leding to the mosquito to become immune to such things.

  2. I did not know that there was a portion of the blood that was toxic to the mosquito! With the zika outbreak, the creation of the insecticide could help a lot. Also, diseases like malaria that cause people to sleep in mosquito nets could benefit from this too. I am sure it would take a while to get around the world but once it does, it could be extremely beneficial.

  3. Such a great discovery, hopefully by targeting the females and reducing their resistance to insecticides they will be able to completely eliminate diseases like malaria and Zika.

  4. It's quite an interesting approach to handling the mosquito epidemic in terms of reducing the transmission of diseases. The use of environmentally friendly bacteria as an explosive solution is brilliant especially it helps to reduce the transmission and development of new diseases by eliminating the carrier from the start.

  5. I think that this could be an interesting find in controlling mosquito populations, however, there are many things that make me question if it is overall the safest method since this article did not go as in depth to answer questions about it's effect on animals that eat mosquitos as prey (birds, fish, other insects) if they were to be eat a mosquito who ingested this insecticide. How safe is this for the crops they are planning to spray this around? Will it effect other insects? Overall, mosquitos are pest insects and I wish they didn't play such a big part in the ecological chain connectivity of things because they are the worst part of summer. On a more real note, malaria and Zika are very real and deadly viruses and a possible way to stop mosquitos in areas where it is epidemic-level could be an incredible stride in public health in Africa/South America. This is interesting to see how genetics is finding new ways to solve problems and there is never a dull moment in thinking outside the box in science.