'Specially-bred mosquitoes help prevent dengue outbreaks'

| | London
'Specially-bred mosquitoes help prevent dengue outbreaks'

In a first, Australian researchers have successfully protected an entire city from dengue outbreaks by deploying captive-bred mosquitoes that are unable to spread the deadly virus.

Mosquitoes bred to carry naturally-occurring Wolbachia bacteria, which  prevents the transmission of viruses, were let loose over 66 square kilometres of Townsville, Queensland in places where they could naturally breed.

In four years since the mosquitoes were introduced, no new cases of dengue have been reported in the area.

"We're wanting to have a really major impact on disease. For dengue and Zika nothing's working at the moment for control. There's evidence of a growing disease burden and there was the big Zika pandemic that stripped through the Americas recently and the rest of the world," said Scott O'Neill, director of the World Mosquito Program at Monash University in Australia.

"I think we've got something here that's going to have a significant impact and I think this study is the first indication that it's looking very promising," O'Neill told 'The Guardian'.

Researchers are now conducting a randomised controlled trial Indonesia. In Brazil mosquitoes have been introduced in Rio de Janeiro, with the hopes of countering Zika virus outbreaks.

The land area covered in Rio is twice that of Townsville and the population six times as great, with more than 1.5 million people.

"Rio is one of the hardest places to work in. If we can be successful in Rio we can probably be successful anywhere in the world," O'Neill said.

In the long run, if Wolbachia does prove safe and effective, scientists may attempt its use against malaria.



Sunday Edition

View All

A legacy of conflict

19 Aug 2018 | Kumar Chellappan

A succession war is brewing in the DMK after Karunanidhi’s death, with both Stalin and Alagiri staking a claim to their father’s political legacy. This, along with the churning in the AIADMK after Jayalalithaa’s death, is bound to have an impact on the political landscape of Tamil Nadu in the run-up to 2019 Lok Sabha polls, writes Kumar Chellappan Tamil Nadu politics sans Muthuvel Karunanidhi is like the drama Hamlet without...

Read More


View All

Ranchi girl wins Int’l beauty contest

19 Aug 2018 | PNS | Ranchi

Yet another girl from the Capital City Khushboo Vijay became the winner of Miss India International Global 2018 and will be representing India next year in Malaysia 2019 for World Finale. The event was held in Guwahati on August 2018...

Read More

Page generated in 0.2376 seconds.