African cities, a new malaria mosquito is emerging, with potentially devastating effects for those who live there, according to a new report. Researchers from the Netherlands' Radboud University Medical Center and the Armauer Hansen Research Institute in Ethiopia said that the larvae of Anopheles stephensi, India's main mosquito vector of malaria, are now "abundantly present" in locations across Africa. Vectors are living organisms that can be spread to humans by infectious agents, or from animals to humans. 

Just a few years ago in Africa did this mosquito species emerge. Now, in cities in Ethiopia, this invasive insect is "abundantly present" in water containers and highly susceptible to local malaria strains, researchers have said. 

 It is understood that most African mosquitoes that can spread malaria breed in rural areas. However, experts have also been worried that this unique mosquito has found a foothold in urban areas, including cities in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Djibouti, which researchers have suggested could raise the risk of malaria for urban populations. 

Malaria is both a preventable and treatable disease, which is spread through the bite of female Anopheles mosquitoes, but 409,000 people died of it in 2019. According to the World Health Organization, the African region was the home of 94 percent of all malaria cases and deaths in 2019. By spreading local malaria parasites, researchers researched whether the mosquitoes can pose a health danger. 

The Asian mosquito, to our surprise, turned out to be much more susceptible than our Ethiopian mosquito colony to local malaria parasites. Teun Bousema, professor of epidemiology of tropical infectious diseases at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, said in a statement, "This mosquito appears to be an extremely efficient spreader of the two main malaria species." 

Researchers warned that, in a study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on Wednesday, swift action must be taken to avoid the spread of mosquitoes to other urban areas on the African continent. We need to target mosquito larvae in places where they currently occur and prevent the spread of mosquitoes over long distances, such as through airports and seaports. The risk of urban malaria will increase in large parts of Africa if that fails,' said study author Fitsam Tadesse, a doctoral student at the Department of Medical Microbiology at the Medical Center of Radboud University. 




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