Global health R&D at work in Montana
Montana State University scientists are using DNA sequencing technology to analyze the bacteria inside mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks, hoping to gain a new understanding of how the bacteria living inside these insects impacts their ability to spread disease. The researchers are analyzing large amounts of bacterial DNA, looking for a correlation between a disease that is prevalent in one area and the bacteria that are present in the insects from that area. Across the globe, factors such as travel, trade, urbanization, and climate change are altering disease transmission patterns, with infectious diseases such as dengue and chikungunya emerging in countries where they were previously unknown. The scientists’ research could lead to new insights to combat these and other insect-borne diseases.