Those annoying, blood sucking insects that we all hate may provide millions with life-saving vaccines in the future if researchers in Japan are successful.
They are hoping to create mosquitoes that can vaccinate millions of people for free.
Scientists at Jichi Medical University north of Tokyo have already created that contains a protein in its saliva that vaccinates against a parasite called leishmaniasis. Leishmaniasis is transmitted by sand flies and people who get infected can develop sores and even die. In a laboratory setting, mice bitten by these mosquitoes did develop antibodies to the parasite.
Researchers think this concept could be applied to other diseases, such as malaria that causes the deaths of one million people each year, mostly in Asia and Africa.
The two main advantages are it would be free and multiple bites would increase a person’s immunity.
One major issue is that people could not consent to being vaccinated.
Ironically, a mosquito carrying the vaccine could become infected with malaria and transmit the disease to people. To solve that problem, the team who created these mosquitoes is also working on creating a mosquito that can destroy malaria in its body. [Yahoo! AFP]