A deeper study into exploring the insect physiology could impact the advances of human health and welfare, opines a US researcher.
Michael Kanost, distinguished professor and head of the department of biochemistry at Kansas State University, has claimed that understanding this physiology may help in controlling diseases, curbing insect-caused crop loss and developing new durable, lighter-weight medical equipment and prosthetics.
"Insects are really interesting because there's so much variety that occurs in this huge group of animals," Newswise quoted him as saying.
"Ultimately we want to understand them better."
"Ordinarily an insect's immune system would kill an invading microorganism," Kanost said.
"But under the right circumstances diseases can avoid or disrupt the insect's immune response."
To circumvent this ability to fight disease, Kanost and the others are looking at how the biochemical and cellular processes trigger an insect's immune system response to pathogens and parasites.
Their work centers around proteins in the insects' blood that participate in the immune system, giving insects protection against diseases.
Once this process can be understood, it could allow scientists to develop an insecticide that targets an insect's immune system rather than the central nervous system, Kanost said.
In turn, this would make insects, like the malaria-carrying mosquito Anopheles gambiae, susceptible to the very diseases they transmit.