Australian scientists slash dengue fever in Indonesia by infecting mosquitoes with bacteria

A. Barker,  ABC News,  2020.

Australian scientists may have found the secret to eradicating dengue fever, with a lengthy trial in Indonesia drastically reducing the incidence of the mosquito-borne virus.

Known as Wolbachia, the bacteria effectively starves the virus of food.

And as the infected mosquitoes breed with the wild population, their offspring also have the bacteria.

The first major results from the trial show the incidence of dengue fever in areas where the infected mosquitoes have been released has dropped by 77 per cent.

“In public health, 77 per cent is a really, really big impact,” said Cameron Simmons, who heads the World Mosquito Program at Monash University.

“If this was a vaccine for COVID-19 we’d be delighted with a 77 per cent impact.

“We’re thrilled.”

The Wolbachia bacteria has persisted at a very high level in the wild population.

More related to this:

Two-By-One model of cytoplasmic incompatibility: Synthetic recapitulation by transgenic expression of cifA and cifB in Drosophila

The mosquito strategy that could eliminate dengue

Tackling Dengue fever by turning female mosquitoes into males

Why are scientists creating genetically modified mosquitoes?

Scientist fight plant to release gene-hacked mosquitoes in TX, FL.