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Your own blood could become a mosquito’s worst enemy

Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people a year… making them the deadliest animal in the world. Our own blood could kill them, thanks to a new study of an old drug.
Mosquito, Wikicommons

Mosquitos kill about 725,000 people a year… making them the deadliest animal in the world. Over half of those are from malaria, a protozoan parasite that destroys red blood cells, which is spread by mosquitos in tropical and subtropical regions.

Researchers have found that taking ivermectin, a drug designed to prevent elephantitis, actually kills mosquitos when they bite a human. With high doses (300mg or more) of ivermectin, it killed mosquitos for up to 30 days. It’s exciting news for researchers, who have been looking for more concrete evidence that the drug works before rushing it to the mass market. Ivermectin has been around since the 1980s but only has it fairly recently been used to study malaria. Studies have been performed using ivermectin since the 1980s, yet the recently published study in the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal appears to be the most conclusive. 

Mosquitos, it has been argued, serve no real biological purpose on Earth. A 2010 study found that from an ecological standpoint mosquitos are only good at two things: spreading disease (which they excel at) and creating other mosquitoes. Aside from a few frogs and spiders going hungry for a few hours, we really wouldn’t be missing that much. 


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