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Global health R&D delivers for Maine

US government investment in global health R&D has delivered

$172 thousand
to Maine research institutions
Global health R&D at work in Maine

University of Maine researchers are working on a plant-based biopesticide that is toxic to mosquitoes but harmless to the environment. Such an approach could help stop the spread of diseases like Zika and West Nile Virus. It could also help counter the insects’ growing resistance to existing pesticides. The team found that certain plants are attractive to egg-laying mosquitoes but hostile to their larvae. One reason is bacteria; plants with more bacterial diversity entice more mosquitoes. But bacterial abundance, not diversity, leads to better larval survival. The team discovered that blackberry plant is an ecological trap: its leaves have a high diversity but low abundance of bacteria, attracting mosquitoes to lay eggs but giving the larvae little food to grow. Future studies will explore whether the leaves can be used to foil this small but deadly pest.

  • Methodology
  • USG global health R&D investment to state research institutions/Top USG-funded global health R&D institutions: Authors' analysis of USG investment data from the G-FINDER survey, including funding for R&D for neglected diseases from 2007–2015 and for Ebola and select viral hemorrhagic fevers from 2014–2015. Reflects USG funding received by entities in state including academic and research institutions, product development partnerships, other nonprofits, select corporations, and government research institutions, as well as self-funding or other federal agency transfers received by federal agencies located in state; but excludes pharmaceutical industry data which is aggregated and anonymized in the survey for confidentiality purposes. See methodology for additional details.
  • Case study photo: Pan American Health Organization/Joshua E. Cogan