08-07-2017 09:00 AM | Lathika Saju | My Indian Dream
Clearing away certain flowers can reduce the count of mosquitoes
Scientists have found a new way to reduce malaria transmission by removing the flowers of an invasive shrub from areas infested with mosquitoes. A study conducted in the Bandiagra District in Mali revealed that clearing away the flowers from villages in Mali brought down the local mosquito vector population by nearly 60%.
According to lead author Gunter Muller from Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, mosquitoes get most of their energy needs from plant sugars obtained from the nectar of flowers. He and his team tested the effect on local mosquito vector populations by removing the flowers of the shrub Prosopis juliflora.
It was found that the population of mosquitoes, especially that of older female mosquitoes which are known to transmit malaria parasites to humans declined remarkably. This study showed that removal of flowers of the shrub Prosopis juliflora shifted the inherently high malaria transmission areas to low transmission areas. They also hope that the elimination of mosquitoes could be possible through this method.
The shrub grows and spreads fast and now occupies millions of hectares on the African continent, including countries such as Mali, Chad, Niger, Ethiopia, Sudan and Kenya.
These invasive plants not only have potential negative impacts on the environment and livelihoods but also have negative significant consequences for public health.
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