What is ‘Miraculous’ mosquito hack?

Recently, in Yogyakarta city of Indonesia, dengue fever cases have been cut by 77% through a trial that manipulates the mosquitoes spreading dengue.

About the trial

  • Scientists used mosquitoes infected with “miraculous bacteria” and released across the cities. These bacteria reduce insect’s ability to spread dengue.
  • Trial used mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria.
  • Wolbachia doesn’t harm mosquito, but it goes in same parts of its body where dengue virus needs to get into.
  • The bacteria compete for resources and make it much harder for dengue virus to replicate, so the mosquito is less likely to cause an infection when it bites again.
  • According to team of World Mosquito Programme, this method can be a solution to virus that has spread worldwide.
  • The technique is successful and mosquitoes have been released across whole city. This project is targeting to cover more areas with the aim of eradicating dengue.

About Dengue

Dengue is also known as “break-bone fever” as it causes severe pain in muscles and bones. It is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by dengue virus (DENV). Its symptoms usually start three to fourteen days after infection. Common symptoms include high fever, vomiting, headache, muscle pains and joint pains besides a characteristic skin rash.  In 1970, only nine countries had faced dengue outbreaks. Now, mosquito causes 400 million infections in a year.

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