Mosquito pill on the horizon

July 12th, 2011 - 10:06 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

Dakar, Senegal, July 12 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Scientists from Senegal and the Colorado State University have concluded a study into a worm drug which turns the tide against mosquitoes. Scientists have long suspected that deworming drug which is used in the treatment of river blindness have the potential to kill mosquitoes.

The researchers found that when a mosquito bites a person who has taken the pill, the insect’s life ends. The drug is called Mectizan and in some quarters it is called ivermectin. The research was carried out on two villages in Africa.

The first village had residents who have recently been given ivermectin pills. The inhabitants of the other village didn’t have the pills administered to them. When the mosquitoes in the two villages were tested, the scientists found that the mosquitoes from the first village had 80 percent fewer malaria parasites when compared to the second village.

The study and findings were published in the journal The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene last week.

Though the finding has been hailed, other scientists warn that the drug has its associated risk and implementing it on a large scale to fight mosquitoes is almost not practicable.

For the drug to achieve the intended purpose it must be administered once every month.

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