Molecular Approaches to Alter Olfactory-Driven Behaviors of Insect Vectors
Efforts to control the spread of malaria face serious challenges, including the parasite’s increased resistance to both medications and insecticides and environmental concerns about the use of traditional insecticides. Mosquitoes that spread malaria parasites use their sense of smell to find human hosts, most often by cueing in on the scent of human sweat and the carbon dioxide present in breath. Drs. Axel and Vosshall and their colleagues are seeking to develop a new generation of insect repellents that work by disrupting the olfactory system of the Anopheles mosquito, the primary vector in Africa.