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Insecticide-Treated Nets Can Help Prevent Malaria

Update Date: Mar 01, 2016 02:06 PM EST

Even though mosquitoes have the ability to become resistant to drugs, researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Malaria Consortium  reveal that insecticide-treated nets can help to prevent malaria.

Researchers first fed mosquitoes with malaria-infected blood, and then subjected them to insecticide. One week later, when the scientists checked them to see if parasites had developed or not, they found that some parts of the infected mosquitoes were lower in the group that had been subjected to the insecticide.

The infected group developed fewer parasites than the unexposed ones.

"This is a significant result. It suggests that the use of insecticide-treated nets might continue to reduce malaria even in areas where the mosquitoes have become resistant," study co-author Dr. Tarekegn Abeku, Malaria Consortium's Senior Technical Specialist, said in a news release. "If so, that would give us more time to develop alternatives."

It is probably because some mosquitoes manage to survive the insecticide, but the malarial parasites inside them get afflicted.

"Our findings could help to explain why, so far, insecticide-treated nets seem to remain partly effective despite increasing resistance," study author Dr. Jo Lines, Reader of Malaria Control and Vector Biology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The study was published in the journal Parasites & Vectors.

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