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Environment influences ability of bacterium to block malaria transmission

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The environment significantly influences whether or not a certain bacterium will block mosquitoes from transmitting malaria, according to researchers at Penn State.

The researchers used a species of malaria parasite that affects rodents, Plasmodium yoelii, and the mosquito, Anopheles stephensi, as a model system to investigate whether Wolbachia would block the ability of the malaria parasite to infect the mosquitoes. The scientists divided the mosquitoes into an uninfected control group and a group infected with Wolbachia. Next, the team raised all groups of mosquitoes in incubators set to different experimental temperatures -- 20 degrees Celsius, 22 degrees Celsius, 24 degrees Celsius, 26 degrees Celsius and 28 degrees Celsius.

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