The African region was home to
94% of all malaria cases and deaths in
2019, de acuerdo con la World Health Organization
Researchers studied if the mosquitoes would pose a risk to health by spreading local malaria parasites.
“To our surprise, the Asian mosquito turned out to be even more susceptible to local malaria parasites than our Ethiopian mosquito colony. This mosquito appears to be an extremely efficient spreader of the two main species of malaria,” said Teun Bousema, professor of epidemiology of tropical infectious diseases at Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen, en una oracion.
Researchers warned that swift action must be taken to stop the spread of the mosquitoes to other urban areas on the African continent in a study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases on Wednesday
“We must target the mosquito larvae in places where they now occur and prevent mosquitoes from spreading over long distances, for example via airports and sea ports. If that fails, the risk of urban malaria will rise in large parts of Africa,” study author Fitsam Tadesse, a doctoral student at the department of medical microbiology at Radboud University Medical Center, dicho.
The study findings were “significant,” said Jo Lines, a professor of malaria control and vector biology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“When these things first arrive, people go ‘it’s just a mosquito, and we’ll worry about it when its a vector,'” Lines, who was not involved in the study, le dijo a CNN.
“The point is, you can get rid of it when it’s new, if you wait until it’s well established enough, that you notice it actually causing outbreaks of disease… Lo siento, that’s too late. All you can do is manage the problem,” él agregó.
Previous examples of once regional mosquitoes “going global” such as the Asian tiger mosquito, which is now “in the process of invading northern Europe” should serve as a warning that early action is needed to tackle the problem, Lines said.
“I think we need a greater sense of urgency about this, at the continental scale than we do at the moment,” él dijo. “If we wait now until we know more, it’ll be too late to get rid of it. This will be no longer a foothold that you might want to get rid of, it will be one of the native mosquitoes of a large part of East Africa.”
Lines warned that if Anopheles stephensi were to spread to cities in Africa, the consequences would be serious.
“The center of cities has up to now been the only refuge from malaria in parts of Africa,” él dijo. “But in the future, if Anopheles stephensi gets established, that will no longer be the case.”