Malaria spreading in Central America: is the fungus responsible?

Malaria spreading in Central America: is the fungus responsible?

A particularly invasive species of fungus is decimating amphibian populations in Central America. At the same time, thousands of people fall prey to malaria. Researchers have now established a link between the events.

People get sick after frog dies

Fungus spread in Panama and Costa Rica Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis kill a big frog. A group of researchers from the University of California at Davis has now found that the same fungus is responsible for the malaria wave.

Group led by Michael R. Springbourne publishes environmental research paper report good to examine them. He describes that the number of malaria cases skyrocketed as soon as the fungus appeared in every area.

“Using event study regression models, we estimate the effect of Bd-driven amphibian decline on the per capita incidence of malaria while controlling for other potential covariates—see equation (1) in section 4. Reasoning for these estimates as long as there are no omitted county-level time-varying variables that affect both (a) the incidence of malaria and (b) the extent of Bd-driven amphibian decline in our time frame west Overall, we hypothesized that there was a significant increase in malaria cases due to the incidence of the amphibian decline, an effect that gradually began to moderate plateaus over three years and starts at eight years.

Mosquitoes are the reason behind increasing cases of malaria

The cause of the malaria wave is apparently an increased insect population, which can be attributed to a decline in the frog population. The researchers found that the mosquito population increased significantly. Reason: Frogs are one of the main food of frogs. So if amphibians are few, insects can spread more in areas.

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This effect has a negative effect on malaria waves. Mosquitoes are the carriers of this serious disease. During their investigation, the researchers found that some species of mosquitoes are spreading particularly rapidly as frog populations are declining. He also noticed a change in the behavior of the animals.

“These mosquitoes can develop on a variety of breeding sites that differ by type of water (eg, swamps, ponds, marshes, rivers and irrigation canals) and conditions (eg, “salt, turbidity and pollution”). Whereas Adults are generally exophagic and exophilic – feeding and resting outside – their flight range exceeds 30 km and biting behavior is flexible, from human to animal and outside to indoors.”

The researchers underline in their report that the consequences of the fungus are significant threats not only to animals but also to humans. The fungus has been responsible for the decline in amphibian populations since the 1980s. 90 animal species also died out completely due to the fungus. Most of the population has been reduced to 90% and are therefore on the endangered species list.

picture of Schmikaner Feather Pixabay

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