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Giving mosquitoes sugar before they feast on blood could prevent them transmitting diseases

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The type of mosquito that transmits viruses like Zika and dengue can be prevented by eating sugar before they feast on blood, a new study suggests.

The study, led by the MRC-University of Glasgow Center for Virus Research, showed that the Aedes aegypti species or yellow fever mosquito had increased immunity in their guts after feeding on sugar.

This protected females of the species from contamination.

Adult mosquitoes feed on plant nectar and sap to build their energy, but they need blood to reproduce.

Because of this, they transmit viruses, including the chikungunya virus, which is a public problem for the entire world.

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The mosquito that transmits Zika and dengue can be prevented by eating sugar before feasting on blood

It’s unclear why the sugar protects the mosquitoes from infection, but the researchers believe it is partly responsible for “the high susceptibility and transmission of arboviruses by this mosquito species.”

One of the study’s co-authors, Dr Emilie Pondeville, a molecular entomologist at MRC University, said the findings highlight the importance of feeding sugar to mosquitoes to lower infection rates around the world.

It is unclear why the sugar protects the mosquitoes against infection

It is unclear why the sugar protects the mosquitoes against infection

Adult mosquitoes feed on nectar and sap to build energy, but they need blood to reproduce

Adult mosquitoes feed on nectar and sap to build energy, but they need blood to reproduce

“Overall, our findings reveal a critical role of sugar diets in mosquito antiviral immunity, which in turn reduces the likelihood of spreading these arboviruses, which pose a significant threat to humans,” Pondeville said in a statement.

“In the future, this could help the development and application of vector control strategies, such as sugar bait, to reduce the transmission of arboviruses.”

Adult mosquitoes feed on plant nectar and sap to build their energy, but they need blood to reproduce.

Because of this, they transmit viruses, including the chikungunya virus, which is a public problem for the entire world.

According to the World Mosquito Program, nearly 700 million people worldwide contract mosquito-borne diseases every year, resulting in 1 million deaths.

The most common of these are malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Zika.

“Overall, our findings reveal a critical role of sugar feeding in mosquito antiviral immunity, which in turn reduces vector competence for arboviruses,” the authors wrote in the study summary.

“Since Ae. aegypti feeds almost exclusively on blood in some natural environments, our findings suggest that this lack of sugar intake could increase the spread of mosquito-borne arboviral diseases.”

The study was recently published in the scientific journal PLOS pathogens.

Over the past 20 to 30 years, the yellow fever mosquito has greatly expanded its presence worldwide and is now considered one of the most common species, according to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

In addition, there are signs that mosquitoes capable of transmitting the Zika virus have adapted to cope with warm temperate climates, a concern that is increasing as the planet warms due to climate change.

In recent times, a number of programs have been created to stop the spread of these mosquitoes.

Beginning in May, a project released genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys in a pilot program to reduce the spread of deadly diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and the Zika virus.

The first phase of the program saw the release of approximately 12,000 mosquitoes per week over a 12-week period for a total of 144,000.

The insects were developed by British biotechnology company Oxitec, which told DailyMail.com earlier this year that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s permit allows up to 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes.

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