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Study shows mosquito eggs could lead to virus control

Photo: Mosquito eggs could lead to virus control
Scientists are targeting eggs in their quest to eradicate the threats of pathogens carried by mosquitoes.

Blood-sucking, disease carrying mosquitoes with their maddening midnight whine are one of the animal kingdom's biggest killers so there is a constant quest to eradicate the threat.

Dengue and zika cases have risen in the past decade and increased insecticide resistance is exacerbating the problem of mosquito-borne pathogens.

So scientists are looking for a new generation of environmentally safe insecticides and believe one possibility is targeting proteins specifically needed for mosquito reproduction.

They identified a protein whose inactivation led to fragile eggshells.
Because the protein is specific to mosquitoes, it may be possible to interrupt their egg formation without harming other insects, says a study by Jun Isoe of the University of Arizona and colleagues in PLOS Biology.

The team says the results provide new insights into mosquito egg maturation and eggshell synthesis that could lead to key advances in the field of mosquito vector control.

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