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Recent research in Mycology

Mycology is a branch in Botany that entails the study life and behaviour of fungi.  Mycology also includes the study of fungi-related diseases.  Mycology also puts into account the genetic and biochemical properties of fungi, taxonomy and their economic importance to human beings for instance in medicine (for instance penicillin) and food. A lot of researches related to mycology especially in medical mycology have led to discovery of new medicines that are currently treating diseases that initially had proved resistant to drugs. This paper tries to look into one of the recent researches that involved application of fungi in controlling mosquitoes resistant to insecticides.

Based on the fact that malaria is a one of the causes of deaths in Africa and other regions that lie on the tropical regions, various researches have been carried out with the aim of coming up with more effective drugs to fight the malaria parasite. Recent research has shown that the chemical methods can be combined with biological methods to fight malaria parasites.  This is because the mosquitoes responsible for causing malaria are increasingly becoming resistant to chemical intervention. Last year researchers from Wageningen University and research centre after carrying out several researches showed that fungal spores can be effective in killing mosquitoes and can make mosquitoes to be more vulnerable to pesticides.  This research was carried out by Marit Farenhorst with other colleagues from the Entomology research centre in Cotonou, Benin and it involved the use of a wide arrange of fungi-insecticide combinations to test effect of timing and sequence of exposure (Wageningen University and Research Centre 2010). 
The research intended to establish the efficacy of combining fungi spores with insecticides in killing malaria causing mosquitoes in West Africa. From this research titled “Synergy in Efficacy of Fungal Entomopathogens and Permethrin against West African Insecticide-Resistant Anopheles gambiae Mosquitoes”, it was found out that the fungi spores from Beauveria bassiana and Metarhizium anisopliae were very effective in killing both wild mosquitoes and laboratory bred ones.  On the efficacy of combining these spores with insecticides, it was found out from this research that the fungal infection on mosquitoes made them more vulnerable to permethrin and also exposure of mosquitoes to permethrin made them more vulnerable to infection by the spores.  In other words the two components produced a reinforced effect that proved effective to mosquitoes that had developed resistance to commonly used insecticides such as Permethrin and DDT. The effect of combining fungal spores with permethrin proved to be more effective against insecticide resistant far much than expected, something that proved that both the fungi spores and permethrin reinforced each other’s efficacy (Wageningen University and Research Centre 2010). 
From this research it was argued that the combination of spores with insecticides has the potential of creating a long term effect as it will be very difficult for mosquitoes to build resistant against agents that are totally distinct. From this research, it was suggested that fungi spores alone can be used a substitute of insecticides in beefing up the fight against malaria in Africa (Wageningen University and Research Centre 2010).

There are still many research prospects in this field for instance, more research need to be done on evaluation of methods where mosquitoes will be exposed to both fungi and insecticides in duration of one night. This can be done by for instance employing mosquito nets that are impregnated with spore and also use of fungal sprays in the house.


Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Synergy in Efficacy of Fungal Entomopathogens and Permethrin against West African Insecticide-Resistant Anopheles gambiae Mosquitoes


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