Modified mosquitoes bred to eradicate dengue fever – Wed September 2, 2020

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In Indonesia, where dengue fever is still endemic, recent test results suggesting that releasing mosquitoes containing certain bacteria could lead to a 77 percent reduction in dengue cases have brought much hope. Researchers from the World Mosquito Program (WMP) at Australian Monash University, together with Indonesian partner Gadjah Mada University (UGM), used Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in Yogyakarta as part of a randomized controlled trial that began in 2017. Wolbachia is a bacterium that competes with viruses such as dengue, making it harder for viruses to reproduce in mosquitoes, reducing their ability to transmit dengue to humans. The bacterium occurs naturally in 60 percent of insect species, but not in Aedes aegypti, the main carrier of dengue fever and several other viruses. The researchers recently announced that the trial results “77 per …

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