Mosquitoes against mosquitoes | EOS Science

Scientists have succeeded in reducing the number of symptomatic dengue cases by more than three quarters. They did it by shooting mosquitoes that Wolbachiacarry bacteria.

More than half of all insect species have them naturally Wolbachiabacteria in their bodies. In the Aedes aegyptiMosquitoes that in addition to dengue spread the Zika virus, yellow fever and chikungunya virus, this is not the case. Previous research has shown that if you saddle mosquitoes with bacteria, they will be less able to spread viruses afterwards. This is because the bacteria in the mosquito’s body cells compete with the virus. So they are less able to reproduce.

WolbachiaThe bacteria are transmitted to the offspring through the eggs. The idea is simple: you release mosquitoes that carry the bacteria, and by breeding with their wild counterparts, they will. WolbachiaThe bacteria are spread in the mosquito community.

World Mosquito Program researchers conducted a randomized control study in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta. In twelve districts of the city, mosquitoes frequently recur WolbachiaIt was launched, not in a dozen other regions. Over the course of the study, they identified 318 cases of malformation symptoms in the control area, compared to 67 in the treated areas. This is a reduction of more than 75 percent. The number of injured people admitted to hospital decreased by 86 per cent.

Researchers see this method as a new and effective way to combat dengue fever. The World Health Organization estimates that 100 to 400 million people in the tropics and subtropics become ill each year. “This is a major achievement in the fight against dengue,” says entomologist Ruth Muller (Institute of Tropical Medicine), who was not involved in the study. “I hope this technology will also be allowed in Europe, because the disease will develop here due to climate change.”

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Pron: Global Mosquito Program

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