Bacteria Wolbachia to Prevent Dengue

Recently, the scientists in Australia have discovered an inexpensive and effectual way to avoid transmission of dengue fever. A simple bacterium called “Wolbachia” that only infects insects could prevent dengue in its tracks. Researchers infected mosquitoes, with bacterium that blocks development of the dengue virus.

  • Resistant insects were then released and they successfully interbred with wild mosquitoes and blocked their ability to transmit dengue.
  • Within months, a wave of infection by the bacterium had spread to almost all the wild mosquitoes rendering them incapable of passing on dengue
  • The data suggests that the presence of Wolbachia strengthens the immune system and helps the mosquito resist the effects of dengue.

Pesticides that kill the specific type of mosquitoes that carry the virus have been the most effective method of control; however, resistance to this method is rising.

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