Researchers find bacterium to trip malarial mosquitoesDecember 25th, 2009 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS
Sydney, Dec 25 (IANS) Wolbachia, a bacterium from fruit flies, makes mosquitoes more resistant to infection by viruses, including those triggering dengue fever and Chikungunya, says a new research.
Previous studies had shown that Wolbachia can halve the lives of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Once infected with Wolbachia, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes also become less suitable hosts for a form of malaria parasite that infects birds, said Scott O’Neill of The University of Queensland. The mosquitoes under study aren’t natural carriers of human malaria.
“This might be very powerful in reducing pathogen transmission by Aedes aegypti to humans, particularly for dengue and Chikungunya,” O’Neill said.
There is no vaccine or cure for dengue fever, which is a painful and debilitating disease suffered by some 50 million people worldwide every year.
Dengue haemorrhagic fever, the more severe form of the disease, kills more than 40,000 people annually.
Chikungunya usually isn’t fatal, but can cause symptoms similar to dengue. Human epidemics of Chikungunya have been cited in Africa, Asia and more recently in Europe, according to the Centres for Disease Control (CDC).
Wolbachia is already rampant in nature; the bacterium is estimated to infect up to 60 percent of all insect species.
“We are currently conducting a series of experiments in contained outdoor greenhouse settings that are examining the ability of the Wolbachia infection to spread into natural mosquito populations,” he said.
“If these prove successful, we hope to move to open field testing within the next one to two years.”
These findings were published in the Thursday issue of Cell.
- Microbial 'mosquito net' to aid in fight against mosquito-borne disease - Dec 25, 2009
- Bacterium can halt dengue virus transmission - Apr 02, 2010
- How to control dengue fever spread - Dec 25, 2009
- Scientists decimate dengue-carrying mosquito with bacterium - Jan 06, 2009
- Mosquito parasite could combat dengue fever - May 01, 2009
- Can GM mosquitoes wipe out dengue? - Oct 24, 2010
- 'Travel, urbanisation have led to 50-fold rise in dengue cases' - Sep 17, 2012
- Mosquitoes home in on human body odour - Oct 02, 2011
- Transgenic fungi may help fight malaria: Study - Feb 25, 2011
- Coming soon: A trap to trick pregnant mosquitoes! - Dec 26, 2010
- Bacteria can help fight dengue, malaria - Apr 07, 2010
- Discovery enables quicker diagnosis of chikunguyna - Mar 15, 2012
- Now a portable tool to detect dengue mosquitoes! - May 23, 2012
- Making mosquitoes pay for every bite - Jul 20, 2011
- MCD suppressing chikungunya figures, say doctors - Nov 02, 2010
Tags: 50 million, africa asia, bacterium, cdc, chikungunya, dec 25, dengue fever, fruit flies, greenhouse, human malaria, insect species, malaria parasite, mosquito, mosquito populations, mosquitoes, o neill, suitable hosts, university of queensland, viruses, wolbachia