The malaria (called malaria by English and Italian speakers) affects more than 200 million people worldwide and causes around 435,000 deaths a year today. If fighting this sickness progresses every year, the mosquitoes that transmit it continue to evolve to counter human solutions. Indeed, malaria comes from the action of a parasite, Plasmodium, which infects and destroys liver cells. The destruction of red cells causes anemia and releases cellular waste which, once in the brain, causes fevers. This parasite is transported by a group of species of mosquito from Asia and AsiaAfrica appointed Anopheles gambiae. The fight against the epidemic is generally directed against this insect. However, mosquito nets treated with pyrethroid or piperonyl butoxide, two insecticides, are now ineffective, especially in West Africa – and scientists have discovered why.
British and Greek researchers have studied several populations of two mosquito vectors of the disease: Anopheles gambiae sp. and Anopheles coluzzii. Their goal was to understand why mosquitoes from three West African countries – Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Guinea – were resistant to these insecticides and not the others. At the end of their study, published in the journal Nature, they came to the conclusion that the fault was contained in their legs. The mosquito populations living in these countries produce a sensory protein in excess, SAP2, which protects them from the lethal action of insecticides. “This new resistance mechanism must become the target of the next measures to control the resistance of these insects and can open the way to new chemical compounds capable of bypassing it and thus preventing the reinforced transmission of malaria”Hilary Ransom, one of the researchers, said in a statement.