Les piqûres de moustiques, c’est l’enfer. Parfois au sens strict du terme. Lorsque le moustique est porteur d’une maladie. Mais des chercheurs de l’université de Californie à Riverside (États-Unis) viennent de mettre le doigt sur une fragilité génétique qui pourrait faire avancer la lutte contre les moustiques. © Lab_Photo, Adobe Stock

Mosquitoes have an Achilles heel in their genes

Summer has only just begun and already, you can’t stand mosquitoes spoiling your evenings? Researchers may well have found a new solution to your problem. A genetic Achilles’ heel that would prevent disease-carrying mosquitoes from reproducing.

To grow and develop, to reach sexual maturity, all insects rely on a hormone The basic structure of steroids consists of a polycyclic alcohol…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/6/8/6/6865301d11_50034525_steroide- formula-plane-shaddack-wiki-dp.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/health/definitions/medicine-steroid-3531/” data-more=”Read more”>steroid called ecdysone. A “Peptidic, lipid and steroid hormones
Hormones are used to transmit a chemical signal: they exert an action on…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/f/8/b/f8bca49d5d_98004_ths-hormone -menopause.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/health/definitions/medicine-hormone-751/” data-more=”Read more”>hormone of the moult »
Who Needs Protein Roles
Proteins can carry out very diverse functions within the cell or the organism.
They may have:
a structural role (like actin or tubulin which…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/4/6/e/46e94f9da7_50034188_actin-thomas-splettstoesser -cc.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/health/definitions/biology-protein-237/” data-more=”Read more”>protein to reach the heart of the cells. Four different proteins have been identified by the researchers. But one appears to be essential. It happens like that with all insects. Except… in the mosquito, have just discovered researchers at the University of California at Riverside (United States).

This Achilles’ heel unexpected, the entomologists now hope to use it to fight against the mosquito breeding. Because mosquitoes, it must be remembered, not only disturb our summer nights, but above all, spread serious illnesses such as Zikathe agent of dengue fever
The agent of dengue fever is the dengue virus, belonging to the family Flaviviridae, genus Flavivirus, and therefore a cousin of the yellow fever viruses and the…” data-image=”https:// cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/5/6/b/56b4fc08d9_50036069_aedes-albopictus-james-05.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/health/definitions/medicine -dengue-8078/” data-more=”Read more”>dengue feverthe agent of yellow fever
The disease is caused by the yellow fever virus, or yellow fever virus, which belongs to…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/9/c/2 /9c2aedf9cb_50034495_aedes-aegypti-dr.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/health/definitions/medicine-yellow-fever-3375/” data-more=”Read more”>yellow fever or the chikungunya virus (ChikV)
An alphavirus of the Togaviridae family (group A arbovirus), the chikungunya virus (ChikV) is…” data-image=”https://cdn.futura-sciences.com/buildsv6/images/midioriginal/6/ f/a/6fa3bf2456_104064_chikungunya-aedes-aegypti.jpg” data-url=”https://news.google.com/health/definitions/medicine-chikungunya-4143/” data-more=”Read more”>chikungunya. And in a warming climate, more and more regions are affected.

Eliminate mosquitoes while preserving other insects

Researchers have already developed a few means of control. Recently, they started releasing sterile male mosquitoes so that their mating with females present in the wild does not produce young. But, “in the current context, the mosquito problem is only getting worse”comments Naoki Yamanaka, entomologist, in a press release. “To depend on a single tool to control populations would be recklessness. »

What the researchers hope to do here is develop chemicals that can specifically block the three ecdysone transporters identified in mosquitoes. This is enough to prevent them from maturing and therefore from reproducing. These chemicals, on the other hand, would not have any effect on other insects such as the bees who would still have a protein – in fact, the most essential, according to the researchers’ list – to deliver the hormone to their cells.

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