It turned out: mosquito females infected with plasmodia had a significantly reduced fertility compared to healthy animals. But they lived much longer. The scientists conclude that this is a kind of redistribution of energy between propagation and survival. This redistribution is caused by the pathogens, as it is important for the disease spread that the mosquitoes live as long as possible. The resources are available to them because they spend less energy for reproduction.
For the pathogens it is very important that the mosquito lives long, the researchers say. Because the parasites need 10 to 14 days of incubation. This is the time between the infection of the mosquito and the multiplication of the parasite. In addition, the longer the mosquito can fly around, the more mammals it can sting, and the greater the chance that the plasmodia will actually be transmitted. Because only when an animal has been stung at least twice by the mosquito, the parasites can infect the new host. A better understanding of Plasmodium, its mode of action and distribution can help in the long run to better control the other Plasmodium species as well and thus find new approaches against malaria, the researchers hope.Julien Vézilier (Center national de la recherche scientifique) et al .: Proceedings of the Royal Society B; doi: 10.1098 / rspb.2012.1394 © science.de - Gesa Seidel advertisement