For immediate release: February 27, 2019

Boston, MA – Mosquitoes that landed on surfaces coated with the antimalarial compound atovaquone were completely blocked from developing Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum), the parasite that causes malaria, according to new research led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The study showed that atovaquone—an active ingredient in medication that’s commonly used in humans to prevent and treat malaria—can be absorbed through mosquitoes’ tarsi (legs) and prevents the insects from developing and spreading the parasite. The findings indicate that treating bed nets with atovaquone or similar compounds would be an effective way to reduce the burden of malaria while significantly mitigating the growing problem of insecticide resistance.

 

Tjeerd Wiersma from Amsterdam, The Netherlands [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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