Molecular Design of Selective Anticholinsterases for Mosquito Control
The malaria parasites’ increased resistance to both medications and insecticides and environmental concerns about the use of traditional insecticides pose major challenges to decreasing the rate and breadth of infection. Dr. Bloomquist and his colleagues are using advanced molecular modeling and a novel chemical synthesis method called "click chemistry" in an effort to produce insecticides specifically targeted to the primary malaria vector mosquitoes, Anopheles gambiae. The insecticides would work by inhibiting the essential enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in mosquitoes. They could be used as a potentially safer and more effective alternative to existing insecticides used in treating bed nets.