Competitive Exams: Science and Technology Infecting Mosquitoes to Curb Dengue
Infecting Mosquitoes to Curb Dengue
Australian scientists claim to have found a new way to control dengue fever, a painful and debilitating disease that kills more than 40, 000 people worldwide and afflicts 50 million more every year. As of now, there is no vaccine or cure for dengue fever.
A team of scientists from the University of Queensland found that the lifespan of the mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever could be shortened by infecting them with a bacterium known as Walbachia. Walbachia bacteria are rampant in nature, where they are estimated to infect 60% of all insect species. The researchers found the mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria proved resistant to dengue fever and Chikungunya, which usually is not as fatal as dengue but can cause symptoms similar to it. The infected mosquitoes also became poor hosts for a form of malaria parasites that infect birds.
Courtesy: Science Reporter