A naturally occurring bacteria can stop the malaria parasite right in a mosquito’s gut

A. Bhattacharya,  Quartz,  2023.

Scientists at a GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) research facility in Spain discovered that a strain of Delftia tsuruhatensis bacterium, named Tres Cantos 1 (TC1), inhibits the malaria parasite in mosquitoes, known as Plasmodium. Researchers suspected something was going on when the mosquitoes they were using to study malaria were resisting Plasmodium infections. As noted in the study published in the peer-reviewed journal Science yesterday (Aug. 3), TC1 secretes a molecule called harmane that attacks the Plasmodium parasite, which is transmitted to humans by the bite of a mosquito.When the researchers fed the existing strain to other malaria-spreading Anopholes mosquitoes—without any human tinkering like with the genetically-modified microbes—they found the bacteria “drastically reduces malaria parasite burden in the mosquito, potentially reducing transmission to humans significantly,” GSK said in an Aug. 3 press release.

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