University of Glasgow scientists develop test to spot malaria in mosquitoes

A simple and efficient technique has reportedly been developed by the scientists at the University of Glasgow to identify malaria causing mosquitoes.

The technique uses artificial intelligence and infrared technology to identify the species and age of the malaria causing mosquitoes. Mosquitoes which live up to 10 days can transmit malaria and thus, knowing the age of a mosquito can help predict the risk of the disease. This opens wide range of opportunities for disease response as per researchers.

As per sources, nearly 40,000 mosquitoes from the West and East Africa were used in the study.

Apparently, by shining infrared light on the individual insects, scientists could spot the chemical changes of the older mosquitoes.

Reportedly, the study was conducted by School of Chemistry and Glasgow’s Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine. The university worked alongside with Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Sante in Burkina Faso and Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania.

Doreen Siria, Lead Author, Ifakara Institute, stated that till now the only method of identifying the age of the mosquito was through an expensive and time-taking process which involved intricate dissection to measure the age of female mosquito ovaries.

Dr. Francesco Baldini, University of Glasgow, mentioned that this latest technique is vital in the fight against malaria, the deadly disease to which thousands of children and adults lose their lives.

Francesco stated that along with the infrared technique, they have created a tool which has the potential to be scaled up and will immensely assist in reviewing latest solutions and products against mosquitos which cause disease.

He added that this approach can also be used for other diseases and also to test the attempts to bring down the spread of invasive species of mosquitoes across US and Europe.

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