A study has found a way to rapidly kill large numbers of mosquitoes that spread malaria.
Researchers at the University of Maryland in the US have genetically enhanced a fungus with a toxin found in the venom of the funnel-web spider. This then naturally infects the species of mosquitoes that transmit malaria, making them infertile and therefore, cease succession of the species. The trial showed mosquito populations to collapse by 99% within 45 days.
The method was developed so species of the mosquito that do not spread the disease are not affected, as well as other insects such as bees. The researchers urge that the aim of this technology is not to drive the extinction of mosquitoes but to end the spread of malaria and would only decrease the genetic diversity of the mosquito family by 1%.