Rising Type 2 Diabetes may encourage rise in Malaria:
This, courtesy of Dr. Lakshmi Shakhdhar
Diabetes, June, 2012
If more people have diabetes, there will be a higher prevalence of hyperinsulinemia; this means more human insulin entering mosquitoes when they take blood meals. The mosquito’s immune system is suppressed by human insulin, which could be bad news for the spread of malaria, specially in South Africa.
The scientists say they see this situation as both horrific and scientifically intriguing.
In a previous study, Pakpour and colleagues demonstrated that ingested human insulin triggers or activates the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway in mosquitoes that transmit malaria – Anopheles stephensi – making them more vulnerable to invasion by the P. falciparum parasite.
They explained that in their latest study, they showed that insulin signaling reduced expression of some specific mosquito genes involved in immunity that are under the same regulatory control. Human insulin, they added, suppresses mosquito immunity by activating the PI3K pathway. If the pathway could be artificially inhibited, the effects of human insulin on the mosquitoes’ immune system might be reversed.