Wolbachia Bites Back

Forget wiping them out with insecticides—modified mosquitoes could actually help control dengue, according to new research presented at #TropMed19.

Usually, mosquitoes pick up dengue from biting infected people. But mosquitoes bred to carry the Wolbachia bacteria stopped them from passing it on, slashing dengue cases in Indonesia, Vietnam, Brazil and Australia.

Transmissions have all but disappeared in North Queensland, Australia, which first deployed the modified mozzies in 2011. But the real test will be in more endemic communities in Asia and Latin America—will the dengue resistance last as long?

Here's the downside: the modified mozzies still bite.

AP

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