Evolution-proof insecticides may stall malaria forever

Evolution-proof insecticides may stall malaria forever

Killing just the older mosquitoes would be a more sustainable way of controlling malaria, according to entomologists who add that the approach may lead to evolution-proof insecticides that never become obsolete. Each year malaria -- spread through mosquito bites -- kills about a million people, but many of the chemicals used to kill the insects become ineffective. Repeated exposure to an insecticide breeds a new generation of mosquitoes that are resistant to that particular insecticide. Andrew Read, professor of biology and entomology and his colleagues Matthew Thomas, professor of entomology, Penn State, and Penelope Lynch, doctoral student, Open University, UK, argue that insecticides -- chemical or biological -- that kill only older mosquitoes are a more sustainable way to fight the deadly disease.