Thursday January 18, 2018

Dengue mosquitoes breed more on water near flowers

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New York: New research has found that the eggs of mosquitoes who are known to transfer diseases such as dengue, malaria, yellow fever and chikungunya are mostly found in water resources near flowers.

The researchers studied the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus).

“This study provides evidence of the attractiveness of flowering butterfly bushes to ovipositing (i.e., egg-laying) Aedes albopictus,” said one of the study authors Timothy Davis from the University of Florida in the US.

Asian tiger mosquitoes prefer to lay eggs in containers, so the first thing the scientists decided to test was whether the size of the containers made any difference.

They were also curious about whether or not the presence of flowers might affect the egg-laying behaviour, due to the fact that mosquitoes drink nectar from flowers.

The researchers studied female mosquitoes that had been fed bloodmeals and released in large cages with water containers flowering butterfly bushes.

They found significantly more eggs in the largest containers, and they found more eggs in containers next to flowering bushes than in containers without flowers.

These findings could lead to new methods of controlling the mosquito.

“One of the potential outcomes of this study might be that someone could look at the flower fragrances as a way to lure egg-laying female mosquitoes to some sort of trap,” Phil Kaufman from University of Florida pointed out.

The researchers suggest that female mosquitoes lay eggs near flowers for a variety of possible reasons.

Nectar is an important energy source, so pregnant females are obviously attracted to the flowers in order to feed themselves.

But it could also have something to do with providing food for the next generation in the form of nectar.

The study was published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.(IANS)

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Delhi records 3,829 cases of dengue, 502 of chikungunya till date

The year 2015 had reported the highest number of cases of dengue in the city, with the figure standing at 15,867 with 60 deaths.

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Dengue and Chikungunya are viral diseases transmitted to humans via infected mosquitoes. Pixabay

New Delhi, November 7, 2017 :  Delhi has so far recorded 3,829 cases of dengue and 502 cases of chikungunya, according to civic agencies on Monday.

While the national capital has witnessed a total of four dengue-related deaths till now, no deaths have been reported due to chikungunya.

ALSO READ You May Soon Be Able to Prevent Chikungunya With Vaccines! IIT-Roorkee Researchers Discover Drug to Fight the Disease

The year 2015 reported the highest number of cases of dengue in the city, with the figure standing at 15,867 with 60 deaths.

As for chikungunya, 2016 saw 7,117 cases — the highest in the last five years.

Civic agencies said that areas under the South Delhi Municipal Corporation reported the maximum cases of chikungunya and dengue this year.

ALSO READ What preventive steps have the city Government taken to control Dengue and Chikungunya, asks the Delhi High Court

Delhi has also reported a total of 552 malaria cases with no deaths so far. The figure is the second-highest after 2012 when the cases had soared to 822. (IANS)

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