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invasive weed could increase malaria in east africa

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I was browsing the news and came across this, it is very concerning.


please go to then go to news their report has a link to an open access PLOS article


a highly invasive weed from nth and sth America parthenium hyssterphorus also called famine weed has the ability to support malaria carrying anopheles mosquitos without having them had a blood meal


the weed is


massively invasive outside its home region and is adapted to harsh environmental conditions


grows at a fast rtate and leaves a lot of small seeds in the ground


has spread extensively over cultivated and pastoral areas , including places where malaria is endemic


it has become a prfered plant food for malaria carrying mosquitos


produces a toxic substance called parthenin which causes dermatitis,hay fever and asthma in people


the plant is poisonous to livestock , and contaminates meat and milk



the plant produces sugars which feed the mosiquito and give them the energy to fly


the researchers are calling for urgent efforts to control the plant


well the researchers just mention east Africa, I can't see why it would not create the same problems if it spreads elsewhere

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Posted (edited)

My initial post came from just the news item


reading the PLOS article raises further concerns


the plant is native to the subtropics and tropics and of nth and sth America , and has extensively spread as invasive plant to cultivated and pastoral areas of asia, Australia, south, east and central Africa


there are govt control programs in Australia, Uganda , ethopia amongst other countries


the plant grows in a very aggressive way and has much potential to spread further , the study is just about east Africa but it is in areas with malaria so this is not good news


some of the areas of origin are affected by malaria


it must be the absence of its local competing plants which makes it a serious pest in other areas


the plant can suppress or even replace less competitive native species with a risk of disease spread


So livestock can die if they eat it, I wonder what it does to wildlife?


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