What is a biological approach to reducing vector mosquitos and preventing dengue?

Updated: May 03, 2019
  • Author: Darvin Scott Smith, MD, MSc, DTM&H; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

In 2011, an Australian research effort infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia in the laboratory. Maternally inherited Wolbachia prevents dengue virus from replicating within mosquitos. They then released these mosquitos into the wild to mate with wild mosquitos and pass the Wolbachia along to their offspring. After releasing approximately 10 mosquitos/house/week for 10 weeks, they found that greater than 80% of collected wild mosquitos had Wolbachia infection. Infected mosquitos laid fewer eggs and exhibited shorter life spans. The research group plans further field trials in Vietnam, Indonesia, and Brazil. If successful, this would provide a practical biological approach to dengue suppression. [87]


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