Researchers studying malaria mosquito interaction have discovered a new mosquito protein for the development of a new vaccine that is expected to stop the spread of the disease in areas where it is considered endemic. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes, and it infects millions of people in Africa, Asia and South America every year, causing a global health crisis.
The researchers will travel to Kenya this July to test the newly-developed vaccine in the field. Since mosquitoes are essential for malaria transmission, the researchers have found that an antibody used against a key mosquito protein inhibited malaria parasite invasion in mosquitoes. The antibody blocks the malaria parasite from the protein, which is needed for the parasite to invade mosquitoes. The research was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
According to the World Health Organization, there were about 198 million cases of malaria in 2013 and an estimated 584,000 deaths. Most deaths occur among children living in Africa, where a child dies every minute from malaria. Approximately half of the world's population is at risk of malaria. In 2014, 97 countries and territories had ongoing malaria transmission.