London, Sept. 16 (PTI): Scientists have claimed to have discovered a breed of lethal mosquitoes that can potentially cause hundreds of thousands of more deaths from malaria.
The previously unknown parasite found in Africa could pose a setback to the global fight against the disease -- one of the world's biggest killers, the scientists said. The researchers found the species in a village in the highlands of western Kenya.
The Independent quoted the researchers as saying the discovery was worrying because the insect does not behave like normal mosquitoes.
Unlike the female anopheles, the main cause of malaria, the new type does not wait until night and bites while people are outdoors in the early evening.
More worrying for the scientists is the fact that they are as yet unable to match the DNA of the new species to any existing mosquito variety.
“We observed that many mosquitoes we caught, including those infected with malaria, did not physically resemble other known malaria mosquitoes,” said Jennifer Stevenson from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
“Analysis indicated that their DNA differed from sequences available for known malaria-transmitting mosquitoes in Africa,” Stevenson said.