Tiny fly, deadly bite

Leishmaniasis is a devastating disease that kills tens-of-thousands of people every year. By studying the sandflies that transmit it, the University of Calgary’s Chukwunonso Nzelu is helping to zero in on a vaccine
University of Calgary
Portrait of Chukwunonso Nzelu

Raising sandflies is tricky, but with the help of Chukwunonso Nzelu’s expertise, researchers have grown a large, thriving colony of the insects at the University of Calgary’s high-level containment insectarium. It’s a critical resource for studying how the flies transmit Leishmaniasis to humans, with the goal of producing a vaccine against the disease which kills 30 000 people a year. What they learn could also inform the prevention of other insect-borne diseases like Lyme disease and malaria.