Genetically engineered bacteria kill malaria parasite but do no harm to insect host or human | World of Biology |

Researchers modified the bacterium, Pantoea agglomerans, to secrete proteins that are toxic to the malaria parasite but not to its insect or human hosts.


Jacobs-Lorena - a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health - and his colleagues found that their engineered P. agglomerans strains inhibited development of the deadliest human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, and rodent malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei by up to 98 percent within the mosquito. The proportion of mosquitoes carrying parasites decreased by up to 84 percent.


Many types of bacteria live in the digestive tracts of both humans and mosquitoes. The specific function of most of them is not known, but they do provide an opportunity for fighting a disease that kills more than 800,000 people worldwide each year.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald