(Their habits and their preferences)
In Africa, 20 per cent of the children get 80 per cent of the bites from malarial mosquitoes, and an understanding of this could be central to controlling the deadly disease.
Researchers have developed a mathematical model that describes the complex relationship between the proportion of people who are infected with Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria, and the rate at which people are bitten by the mosquitoes that carry it.
Some people are bitten more than others because they live where mosquitoes are more common or because the mosquitoes, for various reasons, find them more attractive. Those who are bitten most often play a role in malarial transmission similar to that played by the most sexually active in the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases: they are the ones who spread the disease.
Publish date: 12 January 2006
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