Beneficial Mosquito-killing Fungi – Aiding war on malaria?

synopsis by Ursula Hoffmann

Beauveria bassiana is relatively harmless to humans and already approved as a ‘terminator’ for termites and for aphids and whiteflies on melon and tomato crops but it also has been found to kill a mosquito before the malaria parasite can move into its saliva for bite transmission to humans.

Also, Metarhizium anisopliae, harmless to humans and already used to control termites, seems to infect and kill mosquitoes prematurely, reducing potential malaria bite transmission time by 75 percent.

Source: Donald G. McNeil Jr., “Fungus Fatal to Mosquito May Aid Global War on Malaria.” New York Times, June 10 2005 – based on two studies published in the journal Science of the same date.