Jeffrey R. Bloomquist, professor of toxicology and pharmacology in the department of entomology at Virginia Tech, is principal investigator of the three-year project. Collaborating Virginia Tech researchers are Paul R. Carlier, associate professor of chemistry, Sally L. Paulson, associate professor of entomology, and Eric Wong, professor of animal and poultry sciences. Other researchers include Yuan-Ping Pang, professor of pharmacology at the Mayo Clinic, and John Githure, head of the Human Health Division of the International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology.
The project aims to develop an insecticide to use on nets suspended over beds where people sleep. The insecticide needs to have two specific characteristics. It will be targeted specifically to the mosquito species that transmits malaria, Anopheles gambiae, and will not be toxic to humans or other animals.
"There are regions of the world where millions of people are made ill and many die, especially young children, because of malaria," Bloomquist said. "A proven way to control malaria in communities is insecticide-treated nets over the beds where people are sleeping. The problem is that the nets are effective for only a limited time and must be re-treated with the insecticide. However the insecticides used to re-treat the nets are too potent to be handled safely by untrained people."
The goal for this project, entitled "Molecular Design of Selective Anticholinesterases for Mosquito Control," is to make sur
Contact: Mary Ann Johnson