Gambusia Fish

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Recently, the Andhra Pradesh government has released approximately 10 million Gambusia fish into the state’s water bodies to combat mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue.

Why in news?


  • The release of these invasive alien fish species has raised concerns about the potential harm that will be sustained by native species that abound in the state’s freshwater bodies.


About Gambusia Fish

  • It is also known as mosquito fish, and is widely used as a biological agent for controlling mosquito larvae.
  • It is native to the waters of the south-eastern United States.
  • It has been a part of mosquito-control strategies for over a century in various parts of the world, including India.
  • A single full grown fish eats about 100 to 300 mosquito larvae per day.
  • Also it has been part of various malaria control strategies in India since 1928, including the Urban Malaria Scheme.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature declared Gambusia one of the 100 worst invasive alien species in the world. 


Key facts about Malaria

  • Malaria is a disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite.
  • The parasite can be spread to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes.
  • Transmission:
    • The plasmodium parasite is spread by female Anopheles mosquitoes, which are known as "night-biting" mosquitoes because they most commonly bite between dusk and dawn.
  • There are many different types of plasmodium parasite, but only 5 types cause malaria in humans.
    • Plasmodium falciparum: It is mainly found in Africa, it's the most common type of malaria parasite and is responsible for most malaria deaths worldwide.
    • Plasmodium vivax : It is mainly found in Asia and South America, this parasite causes milder symptoms than Plasmodium falciparum, but it can stay in the liver for up to 3 years, which can result in relapses.
    • Plasmodium ovale: Fairly uncommon and usually found in West Africa, it can remain in your liver for several years without producing symptoms.
    • Plasmodium malariae: This is quite rare and usually only found in Africa.
    • Plasmodium knowlesi: This is very rare and found in parts of Southeast Asia.


Q1) What is Plasmodium?

Plasmodium is a genus of parasitic protozoa that causes malaria in humans and other animals. It belongs to the phylum Apicomplexa and is transmitted through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.

Source: Gambusia: This solution could actually be an invasive problem