ing mosquitoes are genetically different from their counterparts active at night , Costantini said .
The finding could inform measures to combat malaria , which tend to focus on the insects ’ night-time feedings .
Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease spread by female Anopheles mosquitoes . As the insects feed on blood to nourish their eggs , a parasite travels through their saliva and into their victim . In 2020 , there were an estimated 241 million cases of malaria , and some 627,000 people lost their lives to the disease .
Earlier estimates of mosquito biting patterns assumed the insects fed mostly at night . And until now , their daytime biting behaviour had not been studied closely .
When Claire Sangbakembi-Ngounou at the Institut Pasteur de Bangui in the Central African Republic noticed that mosquitoes in the capital city appeared to be biting around the clock , she wanted to investigate .
In June 2016 , Sangbakembi-Ngounou , her colleagues and a team of volunteers began a year-long mosquito collection project . Every month , working in six-hour shifts , they spent 48 hours collecting mosquitoes in four different locations around the city . As soon as a mosquito landed on them – but before it started to feed – the collectors trapped the insect inside of a glass vial .
Volunteers were compensated for their effort and treated with anti-malaria medication in the event they contracted the pathogen .
Over the course of the year-long study , the team collected nearly 8000 malaria-carrying mosquitoes from eight different species .
Costantini developed a model that displayed the insects ’ feeding times over a 48-hour period . The analysis revealed that most biting events occurred indoors and between dusk and dawn , but to the researchers ’ surprise , between 20 and 30 per cent of mosquito bites happened indoors during the daytime .
“ It was kind of a shock ,” says Costantini . He hopes the work will spur other entomologists to take daytime samples .
“ If we really want to understand the extent of the problem , we have to start measuring malaria transmission in the right way , which is covering the whole 24-hour period .”
The two most widely used strategies for preventing malaria – hanging insecticide-treated bed nets and spraying insecticides – are prioritised largely within homes . Diego Ayala , also at the University of Montpellier , says that insecticides could also be applied to other buildings where people spend a lot of time indoors during the day , including schools , workplaces and shops .
“ If we want to eradicate malaria , we might have to include those places ,” he says .
Monkeypox in Europe , America
Africa CDC reveals it battled outbreaks during COVID
Several outbreaks of monkeypox Europe and the United States are a concern , says the Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention or AFRICA CDC .
In a weekly news briefing on May 18 , Ahmed Ogwell Ouma , the acting director of the Africa CDC also revealed that Africa successfully contained several monkeypox outbreaks during the COVID pandemic while the world ’ s attention was elsewhere .
The acting head of Africa ’ s top public health agency said monkeypox outbreaks had been seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo , Nigeria , Cameroon and the Central African Republic .
They had been contained “ under the radar ”, he said .
This week , a handful of cases of the virus , which causes fever symptoms and a distinctive bumpy rash , have been reported or are suspected in Europe and the United States .
The disease , which spreads through close contact and was first found in monkeys , mostly occurs in west and central Africa and only rarely spreads elsewhere .
“ We also expect that other outbreaks will come and we ’ ll handle it in the usual way ,”
Ouma told the briefing .
“ We are , however , concerned at the multiple countries outside , especially in Europe , that are seeing these outbreaks of monkeypox ,” he added . “ It would be very useful for knowledge to be shared regarding what the source of these outbreaks actually are .”
There ’ s a monkeypox outbreak in the United Kingdom , Portugal , Spain and other European countries . The outbreak is small — by May 20 about 80 suspected cases , including nine in England , 17 in Canada , and 23 in Spain . There are also cases in Portugal , Sweden , Italy and France . Two suspected cases have also been reported in the U . S .
But health officials have little clue where people caught the monkeypox virus . And there ’ s concern the virus may be spreading through the community — undetected — and possibly through a new route of transmission .
Typically , people catch monkeypox from animals in West Africa or central Africa and import the virus to other countries . Person-to-person transmission isn ’ t common , as it requires close contact with bodily fluids , such as saliva from coughing or pus from the lesions . So the risk to the general population is low , the U . K . health agency notes .
May . 20 -26 2022 29