Celebrating World Mosquito Day and its importance
Written by Nóra Lehotai.
World Mosquito Day has been celebrated on 20th August worldwide since 1897. That day, Sir Ronald Ross, a British doctor stationed in India, made the groundbreaking discovery which enabled the future of malaria research: malaria is transmitted from mosquitos to humans only by female mosquitos. He declared this day to be known as “World Mosquito Day” and for his scientific achievements, Ross received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1902.
"On World Mosquito Day, I reflect on these annoying flies” - says Claire Sayers, a postdoctoral researcher in Oliver Billker’s group. “While only female mosquitoes bite us to produce eggs, they also feed on nectar and act as pollinators. Mosquitoes have an ecological role, but some species are vectors for deadly diseases such as malaria. Mosquitoes are known as the world’s deadliest animal with over a million people dying from mosquito-borne diseases each year. The WHO estimated that 409,000 people died from malaria in 2019. I study the transmission stages of malaria parasites to better understand how they infect mosquitoes to spread the disease."
Pictures of mosquitos taken by Claire Sayers. All credits: Claire Sayers.