How Prawns Can Combat Disease
July 19, 2016
The Jerusalem Post — Most people only see prawns as a simple crustacean, but a research team from Ben-Gurion University sees them as a way to fight disease in Africa.
Recently, the BGU research team worked with colleagues from Ibadan University in Nigeria to study how prawns can be used to feed on a particular snail that proliferates in streams in the region, carrying a dangerous parasite.
“The project will eventually be developed into a larger field of study and demonstrate the use of biocontrol to help eradicate disease,” says Prof. Sagi.
The snails host a parasitic worm that causes schistosomiasis, a disease that damages internal organs and affects 200 million people worldwide, coming only second to malaria in terms of the devastation it causes, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Prof. Sagi has also pioneered technology to produce all-male populations of prawns that can grow up to 60 percent larger than females and help increase world food supply.