Man Made Malaria Risk

On September 29, 2008, in malaria, research, by Karen Grepin

I think some of the most interesting research ongoing right now in global health is research focused on developing a better understanding of mosquito behavior. In the past, we have largely treated mosquitos simply as dumb vectors of malaria (and other diseases) but in fact they are complex organisms with highly variable behaviors that must be more taken into consideration in our attempts to curb the transmission of malaria. I have seen research on the preferences of mosquitos for different smells, different colors, and different water basins. Essentially research getting into the psychology and economics of mosquito behavior. My sister-in-law is trained as a veterinary for honey bees, we have friends who have dogs on anti-depressants, so will it be too long before we have mosquito psychologists?

An interesting example of research in this vein is a recent article about how deforestation (presumably from human activity) may have an impact on the transmission of malaria. This is a great example of how mosquito behavior matters and also an example of how our activities, and environmental and climate change, has a direct link with human health.

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