Dr. Rebeca Carballar-Lejarazú, University of California Irvine Malaria Initiative (UCIMI) and University of California Irvine

Every year on August 20, we commemorate World Mosquito Day. Mosquitoes, these tiny blood-sucking insects, are the chief culprit in causing serious diseases such as malaria. Malaria is an ancient disease that has plagued people since the emergence of modern agriculture and civilization, and still poses a fatal threat to people all over the world. Some of the earliest written records of human diseases from Mesopotamia, India and China describe fever cycles that are recognizably malaria, and parasite DNA was recovered from human remains dating to the 5th century AD during the waning Roman Empire in Europe.