A 'Breakthrough' Trial Used Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes to Stamp Out Dengue - Gizmodo
Jun 11, 2021 1 min, 7 secs
The bacteria are thought to prevent the mosquitoes from catching dengue in the first place.

These results are the strongest evidence yet that Wolbachia can help eradicate dengue and other nasty infections spread by mosquitoes.

But the vaccine is only moderately effective and is not recommended for people who have never had dengue before, since it can raise the risk of severe illness if the person encounters dengue for the first time post-vaccine (for people who’ve already had dengue, the vaccine helps prevent subsequent infections from becoming serious).

But when they do, the bacteria makes infected male mosquitoes incapable of successfully reproducing with uninfected female mosquitoes; at the same time, the infection gets passed down to offspring.

These mosquitoes also spread Wolbachia to the next generation, ensuring that the bacteria keeps working as a dengue deterrent, without needing to go through the long process of trying to wipe out the local mosquito population.

In areas where the infected mosquitoes were planted, cases of confirmed dengue infection dropped by 77% over the study period, compared to control neighborhoods.

The WMP has already pledged to treat the rest of Yogyakarta, and they hope to expand their project to reach areas covering as many as half a billion people at risk for dengue within the next decade, with approval from governments and residents, Nature News reported last year.


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