Dengue targeted by Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes

The Ministry of Heath will release mosquitoes carrying the Wolbachia bacterium in Nha Trang City to curb the threat of dengue.   Ministry of Heath to release mosquitoes carrying the Wolbachia bacterium to fight dengue This is part of the Dengue Elimination Programme funded by Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, and overseen by Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology.The bacteria-carrying mosquitoes will be released over the course of 12 to 18 weeks from March in eight villages in Vinh Luong Commune. Each week, about 100 bacteria-carrying mosquitoes will be released into a 2,500 square metres area.The plan will only be carried out if it gains 80% support among the residents. Before releasing the mosquitoes, related agencies will explain the plan, gather opinions and start collecting votes from 370 random households in the selected area.The research team from Vietnam’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology and Australian scientists successfully bred the Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and tested them on Tri Nguyen Island, Khanh Hoa Province from April to September 2013 and from May to November 2014.The results show that while the number of dengue cases in Nha Tranh City and wider Khanh Hoa Province has always been high, there was no outbreak on Tri Nguyen Island. The plan proved to be safe and effective.The local male mosquitoes are bred with bacteria-infected females for generations. They still have the usual habits and appearance. According to the expert, the bacteria-carrying mosquitoes are not genetically-modified.Wolbachia is an endosymbiotic bacterium that has been found to… [Read full story]

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