General, Research, Technology

In Russia, the number of malaria mosquitoes may increase. What is the reason for this?

Malaria is a dangerous infectious diseasewhich is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites of the genus Anopheles. This disease is accompanied by high fever, an increase in the size of the spleen and liver, as well as a decrease hemoglobin in the blood. The largest number of diseasesrecorded in African countries, but in 2020, the inhabitants of Russia will also be at risk of the disease - an outbreak may occur in Sochi. And the thing is that during the past winter frosts many gambusia fish died, which are especially appreciated for the active eating of larvae of "malaria" mosquitoes. Is there yet another epidemic waiting for us?

Malaria mosquitoes are almost everywhere except Antarctica

Hemoglobin - It is an iron-saturated protein that is needed to saturate the blood with oxygen. With reduced hemoglobin, organs experience oxygen starvation, which causes weakness.

Malaria control

According to the World Health Organization,93% of malaria infections occur in African countries. Few people know about this, but until the 20th century, the infectious disease also affected the inhabitants of Russia - especially those who lived in humid subtropical regions like Sochi. But in 1923, the Soviet doctor Sergei Sokolov began the eradication of malaria by draining marshy areas and breeding the aforementioned gambusia fish. In general, he did everything to prevent malaria mosquitoes from multiplying.

Gambusia - little savior of mankind

Since 1954 breeding of gambusiaengaged in the Sokolov Environmental and Biological Center. The Center has three swimming pools, from which fish are sent to private reservoirs in the resort of Sochi. According to Marina Skripnik, an employee of the biological center, in 2020, much more people began to turn to them with a desire to buy gambusia for growing in their reservoirs. Those fish that were already at the disposal of the owners of private reservoirs died in the cold winter, because they were used to warm conditions.

See also: How have mosquitoes changed the world?

The center clearly cannot meet the needsall customers. Not only that, there isn’t enough gambusia for everyone. In addition to this, the resorts are quarantined, which is why fish are issued in limited numbers. Due to the lack of gambusia, an increase in the population of malaria mosquitoes is already observed in Sochi. How this problem will be solved is still unknown.

Nutrition benefits not only in nutrition

Gambusia are small fish up to 6 longcentimeters covered with large scales. Mostly they live in fresh water, but some individuals are sometimes found in salt waters. They are very thermophilic and that is why they could not survive the frosts that hit even the Russian resorts last winter. They feed on mosquito larvae, which is why they are very valuable. In Sochi and Israel, they even erected a monument in gratitude for their help in combating the spread of malaria.

Gambusia Monument in Sochi

Malaria disease comes from getting into the bloodparasites, which in 1895 were given the name Plasmodium. The fact that these tiny organisms enter the human blood through mosquito bites was discovered in 1894 by the Scottish parasitologist Patrick Manson. There is scientific evidence that malaria can be transmitted even to children in the womb.

Plasmodium parasites under the microscope

It is believed that the first cure for malaria in1596, Chinese doctor Li Shizhen found. Then this disease was not yet known, but it was this person who treated the symptoms typical of malaria with wormwood extract. To date, the best treatment for malaria is considered to be the use of a group of artemisinin preparations. They were discovered in 1972 by a Chinese physician named Tu Yu. The basis of these medicines are the components of the same wormwood. It is believed that the chemicals contained in this plant are able to destroy parasites in the initial stage of treatment. The more neglected malaria, the more difficult it is to treat. According to statistics, at the beginning of the XXI century, the incidence of malaria amounted to 500 million cases per year. About 3 million cases of infection resulted in the death of the patient.

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Will the death of malaria-eating larvae resultmosquito fish to the epidemic is still unknown. Be that as it may, this disease is much less dangerous than the same coronavirus - it has been studied for a long time. Today, malaria vaccines already exist with 56% effectiveness, and a drug is at the testing stage that is effective at as much as 90%.

In one of my articles, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova spoke about the fight against malaria. I recommend reading it!

In addition to fish, against the fight against malaria, you canuse other methods. In 2019, I already talked about modified fungi of the species Metarhizium pingshaensei. They have long been considered natural killers of malaria mosquitoes, but researchers were able to make them a real weapon against dangerous insects. About what substance they mixed the fungi with can be read in this material.