Are mosquitoes becoming flying doctors? Mosquitoes are a huge problem where I live in Georgia. This time of year, itâ€™s not uncommon for us to get several mosquito bites just walking from the front door to the car. Iâ€™ve always had a strong disdain for mosquitoes and have no problem swatting them. Then, I read an article about how mosquitoes are possibly becoming helpful insects, vaccinating people through their bites. Should I change my thinking? Should we start thanking the mosquitoes?
According to Yahoo news, scientists in Europe conducted a study where they used mosquitoes as â€œflying needlesâ€ to administer a vaccine of live malaria parasites through bites. The results were shocking. Everyone that was in the vaccine group became immune to malaria. Since malaria kills about a million people each year, this new way of vaccinating could very possibly offer hope in seeing these numbers decrease.
Dr. Robert Sauerwein said in the Yahoo News article, â€œThis is not a vaccine as in a commercial product, but a way to show how whole parasites can be used like a vaccine to protect against disease.â€ The ironic thing is that many of the people that contract malaria get the disease because they are bitten by an infected mosquito. Now, it looks like the â€œvaccinationâ€ will be carried by the same pest, a mosquito.
This research is in the very beginning stages; however, scientists are very optimistic about what is to come. I canâ€™t help but wonder what other diseases mosquitoes may be able to help us with in the future. Imagine some day if they could carry an AIDS antibody or a cure for the common cold. Hey â€“ you never know! You can read the in-depth Yahoo News article HERE.
Until this practice becomes more popular, I will keep swatting away at the annoying mosquitoes here in the hot Georgia sun.
Here are some interesting mosquito facts youâ€™ll hear about in this National Geographic video below:
If you have smelly feet, you are more likely to be bitten.
Mosquitoes prefer to bite blondes more than brunettes.
Mosquitoes bite 500 times more frequently when there is a full moon!