Leishmaniasis mosquitoes prefer marijuana to any other plant at the time of eating, says study published by the National Academy of Sciences of United States. Performed in Brazil, Israel, Palestine, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan, research shows that predilection was unanimous among all populations of the insect analyzed. The work also showed that consumption, once found plant, is in large proportions.
More than a curiosity about the habits of these mosquitoes, the confirmation represents an asset for designing strategies to combat this population. "Another possible measure would be to place traces in remote parts of the houses, just to avoid the presence of mosquitoes in the houses," said the researcher at the Center for Data Integration and Knowledge for Health (Cidacs), the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation of Bahia, Artur Queiroz , responsible for the study in the country.
Leishmaniasis is a serious disease. There is no vaccine to prevent infection, which occurs with the contaminated mosquito bites. The available treatment controls, but can not eliminate the parasite. Patients with the disease have long-term fever, enlarged liver and spleen, weight loss, weakness, reduced muscle strength and anemia. When untreated, leishmaniasis can lead to death in 90% of cases.
In Brazil, the insects analyzed in Camaçari, Bahia, were collected. "We identified traces of marijuana production in both rural and urban areas," says Souza. One possibility is that in the mystery mosquitoes have fed on plants grown in water.
The collections were also made in five points in the Middle East and Africa. "The preference for marijuana leaves occurred in all places," said the Brazilian scientist. Even there was a plentiful selection of other vegetables. "We do not yet know the reason for such a preference," said Queiroz, a biomedical and doctor of computational modeling and responsible for research in Brazil.
To do the study, the researchers looked at the insect measurement system. The mosquitoes with the highest concentration of the herb in the organism were found in the region of Tubas, Territory of Palestinian Authority. In addition to Tubas and Camaçari, the regions are observed in the study of the Judean desert in the West Bank, the city of Bura in Kazakhstan, the Sde Eliyahu region of Israel and Sheraro in Ethiopia.
In the study, both infected and uninfected mosquitoes were analyzed. Female leishmaniasis-sending insects feed on both blood and juice. Malar, in turn, feeds exclusively on juice.
Protozoan causing leishmaniasis logs in several mosquitoes, known in Brazil as mosquito straw. There are two types of leishmaniasis: the motif (with manifestations in the skin) and the visceral, more difficult. Between 2010 and 2014, about 17,000 new cases were detected by Visceral Leishmania and more than 1100 deaths, and according to the Ministry of Health, the cases are estimated at 22,000 per year.