If There Was a Drug That Humans Could Take That Would Kill Mosquitoes While in the Bloodstream, Would You Take It?
If you could take a drug that would kill mosquitoes who bite you, would you take it? Provocative question isn’t it?
There is research out there that could be heading us in that direction. According to NPR, a study was recently published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases Journal about a drug named ivermectin that could possibly do just this. Ivermectin was a drug developed to fight other diseases caused by parasites in the early 1980s. Studies conducted between the years of 2000 and 2010 have shown that malaria-carrying mosquitoes died after ingesting the blood of those that had taken the drug.
Malaria Eradication Levels Off
Dr. Menno Smit of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine led the study using ivermectin against malaria-causing mosquitoes. More than 200 million people are affected around the globe annually by malaria and in the past few years this number seems to have become stable. More and more mosquitoes that carry the parasite that causes malaria are becoming resistant to the insecticides meant to destroy it. According to Smit, progress has stalled in eradicating the disease and they are hopeful that this is just one way to change that.
In the research, test patients were given 600 milligrams of the drug, 3 days in a row. Their blood was then taken and placed in an artificial membrane for the mosquitoes to feed on. Within 2 weeks, 97% of the mosquitoes were dead. The results were the same a month after the subjects took the ivermectin, which is longer than researchers expected according to Smits.
Another positive result of the research was the low level of negative side effects the drug appears to have on humans. However, those tested were already sick with malaria so there is the possibility that side effects may not be as readily noticed. Still, overall the results so far appear to be positive. Doctors not involved with the study weighed in with NPR as well. Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, suggested that more tests were needed but that the drug itself has proven safe over the years and that while what is really needed is a vaccine for malaria, this does have the potential to be a useful secondary treatment.
Dr. Regina Rabinovich, malaria scholar at Harvard University, suggests that many different approaches to fighting malaria is necessary but finds merit in this one. She encourages more trials in areas where malaria is most rampant.
At Mosquito Squad of Greenville, we find hope in these studies. Continued research has to lead to ways of ridding the globe of this horrible disease. And while malaria is much less common in the United States we still believe it is best to control mosquitoes with the best of our efforts. Our job is to help you protect your family from any and all mosquito-borne illnesses present around us. Our barrier treatment does just that by eliminating 85-90% of the mosquitoes present and continuing to work for 2-3 weeks. Call us to schedule a summertime of mosquito-free living. 864-277-4299