Saturday July 21, 2018

Malaria-carrying Mosquitoes becoming Resistant to Insecticide used in Bed Nets in Southern Africa

A recent study has shown Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are gradually becoming resistant to the insectisides in bed-nets

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FILE - An Afghan girl sleeps beneath a mosquito net at her home in Kabul, Afghanistan, July 21, 2016. VOA
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Malaria-carrying mosquitoes are becoming resistant to the insecticide used in bed nets to prevent the disease. Researchers say it is important to stay ahead of the resistance to avoid what they are calling a public health catastrophe.

Bed nets treated with inexpensive pyrethroid insecticides are the main defense against biting, malaria-carrying mosquitoes, and they have significantly cut down on the number of cases. The World Health Organization reports malaria infected an estimated 212 million people in 2015, killing some 429,000 of them.

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That reflects a 21 percent drop in the incidence of between 2010 and 2015.

But a new study, published in the journal PLoS Genetics, found that the primary mosquito that harbors the parasite in southern Africa, Anopheles funestus, is rapidly becoming resistant to the insecticide. In at least one country, Mozambique, researchers discovered that 100 percent of A. funestus remained alive after direct exposure to the chemical.

Charles Wondji, a mosquito geneticist at the School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool, England, notes that resistance to pyrethroid insecticides occurred rapidly, in about eight years.

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Resistant gene identified

Wondji said scientists were able to identify the resistance gene in the mosquito. Speaking with VOA from Cameroon, he said that will give scientists an important tool to monitor the spread of insect resistance throughout the continent.

“That form of the gene is now very prevalent in southern Africa with the risk that if we do nothing there’s a chance that those control measures won’t work against those type of mosquitoes,” he said.

By having identified the responsible gene, Wondji said it will be possible to stay ahead of what he calls the “resistance curve” in places where insecticides are starting to fail to kill the mosquitoes. He added other more expensive insecticides can then be deployed to treat the bed nets. He mentioned a compound called PDO that targets the gene, killing the mosquitoes.

Wondji said control efforts, such as eliminating mosquito larvae that inhabit standing pools of water, can also be redoubled.

Wondji noted other species of malaria-carrying mosquitoes, like Anopheles gambiae, are starting to become resistant to pyrethriods, although that is occurring through a different biological mechanism.

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More studies needed

Therefore, Wondji, said it’s important to study all species of malaria-carrying mosquitoes in order to implement appropriate and successful malaria management strategies.

In another just-released study in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, scientists in Thailand have found widespread malaria parasite resistance to artemisinin and combination therapies using artemisinin, considered the gold standard treatment.

They say the development threatens global malaria control and eradication efforts. (VOA)

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

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Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)