An insecticide that makes human blood poisonous to diseases carrying mosquitoes could soon hit the market if the new finding is anything to go by.
Lead researchers established high doses of the pill could make human blood deadly for mosquitoes.
This in turn reduces chances of catching mosquito related diseases.
Ivermectin is a drug that is effective against many types of parasites and is also used to treat head lice, scabies and river blindness among others.
According to Tech Times, researchers in Kenya gave 47 participants 600 milligrams of ivermectin for three consecutive days and then took blood samples that were then fed to mosquitoes in cages.
“Ivermectin at both doses assessed was well tolerated and reduced mosquito survival for at least 28 days after treatment,
“Ivermectin 300 μg/kg per day for 3 days provided a good balance between efficacy and tolerability, and this drug shows promise as a potential new tool for malaria elimination,” read part of the study.
The study had been published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal on Thursaday, March 29.
Seen as a new scientific breakthrough, the research also discovered the blood of patients who took three high doses of ivermectin in pill form can be poisonous to mosquitoes for up to 28 days.
Two weeks after feeding on the blood placed in artificial membranes, 97% of the mosquitoes in the cage died.
“The most exciting result was the fact that even one month after (the subjects took) ivermectin, their blood was still killing mosquitoes,” said one researcher Menno Smit from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
Thousands of mosquito species feed on the blood of various kinds of hosts, mainly vertebrates, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even some kinds of fish.
Mosquito-borne diseases are a major cause of illnesses and deaths worldwide.
Advances in research and tools to fight malaria will help combat other infectious diseases like Zika Virus.
Through bites, they spread diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, Chikungunya, West Nile virus, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other viruses.
At least 16,000 Kenyans died from Malaria in 2016.