Mosquitoes Might Save Lives, Thanks to Bacteria
This short video explores a method for using bacteria to prevent mosquitoes from transmitting dengue virus to humans.
Dengue virus, which causes the infectious disease dengue fever, is estimated to infect more than 400 million people every year and is usually transmitted through Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Scientists working on the Eliminate Dengue project (now known as the World Mosquito Program) discovered that dengue virus is not able to replicate in mosquitoes infected with a bacteria called Wolbachia. Although Wolbachia is naturally present in many different insects, it is usually not found in A. aegypti. So the scientists designed a strategy to get Wolbachia into mosquito embryos. The researchers then released the infected mosquitoes into the wild so that Wolbachia spread throughout the mosquito population.
This video is part of the series I Contain Multitudes, hosted by science journalist Ed Yong.
biological control (biocontrol), epidemiology, health care, infection, microbe, mosquito-borne disease, ovitrap, vector, Zika virus
O'Neill, Scott L., Peter A. Ryan, Andrew P. Turley, Geoff Wilson, Kate Retzki, Inaki Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Yi Dong et al. “Scaled deployment of Wolbachia to protect the community from Aedes transmitted arboviruses [version 1; peer review: 1 approved, 1 approved with reservations].” Gates Open Research 2 (2018): 36. https://doi.org/10.12688/gatesopenres.12844.1.
CC1, CC2, CC3