Changing mosquito genes, spreading bacteria: Science sees success vs dengue

C. E. Baclig,  INQUIRER.NET,  2022.

Wolbachia, according to WMP, are extremely common bacteria that occur naturally in 50 percent of insect species, including mosquitoes, fruit flies, moths, dragonflies, and butterflies. Aedes aegypti or dengue-carrying mosquitoes, however, do not normally carry Wolbachia. Studies showed that the bacteria make it difficult for viruses, such as dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever, to reproduce inside the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes—making the mosquitoes much less likely to spread viruses when they bite people. “This means that when Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry natural Wolbachia bacteria, the transmission of viruses like dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever is reduced,” the organization explained. The WMP breeds Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes and releases them into areas hit by mosquito-borne diseases. This means there will be “less risk of disease in communities where Wolbachia is established in the local mosquito population.”

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