June 10, 2021

NOW HARM THEM:

'Miraculous' mosquito hack cuts dengue by 77% (James Gallagher, 6/10/21, BBC)

Dengue fever cases have been cut by 77% in a "groundbreaking" trial that manipulates the mosquitoes that spread it, say scientists.

They used mosquitoes infected with "miraculous" bacteria that reduce the insect's ability to spread dengue.

The trial took place in Yogyakarta city, Indonesia, and is being expanded in the hope of eradicating the virus.

The World Mosquito Programme team says it could be a solution to a virus that has gone around the world. [...]

The trial used mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria. One of the researchers, Dr Katie Anders, describes them as "naturally miraculous".

Wolbachia doesn't harm the mosquito, but it camps out in the same parts of its body that the dengue virus needs to get into.

The bacteria compete for resources and make it much harder for dengue virus to replicate, so the mosquito is less likely to cause an infection when it bites again.

But will it work if the fever escaped from a lab?

Posted by at June 10, 2021 8:13 AM

  

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