A new way to fight dengue

A new way to fight dengue

A new way to fight dengue

Data from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) shows that 49 people have died from dengue fever since July this year, while 11,236 people have contracted the mosquito-borne disease. Each year, around 400 million people in more than 100 countries around the world are infected with the dengue virus, and 25,000 of them die from it. Dengue fever is particularly endemic in low and middle income countries in Asia, the Pacific and Latin America. Since the bite of a mosquito, Aedes aegypti, causes dengue fever, suppressing the mosquito population of this species with pesticides is the accepted method of controlling the disease.

Keep in mind that spraying pesticides to kill Anopheles mosquito larvae has long been used to eradicate malaria in this part of the world. The problem with this method, however, is that it cannot completely destroy mosquitoes from their breeding grounds. As a result, the mosquitoes come back and the fight to eradicate them continues.

Recently, however, a biological method has been developed to combat dengue fever. In this method, the carrier of the dengue virus, Aedes aegypti, is not killed but captured so that he cannot pass the virus on to the person who bites him. This is a very effective way to prevent the fight against dengue from spreading.

The question arises as to whether the Wolbachia bacteria are safe for humans, animals and the environment. The answer is yes. In numerous World Mosquito Program (WMP) trials in various countries, Wolbachia has been shown to be safe for humans, animals and the environment. While the Wolbachia bacteria can live in other mosquitoes, it usually does not live in Aedes aegypti. But when Aedes aegypti is infected with Wolbachia, it becomes a powerful deterrent against the ability of the mosquito (Aedes aegypti) to reproduce the dengue virus and transmit it to humans through its bite. It has a deterrent effect not only against dengue, but also against all other viruses, namely Zika, Chikungunya and yellow fever, carriers of Aedes aegypti. How do bacteria work against dengue? As mentioned above, Wolbachia bacteria are found in the cells of the host organism. 

The same goes for Aedes aegypti when it is infected with the bacteria. And through their (mosquito) eggs, bacteria are passed from one generation of mosquitoes to the next. At the same time, while the bacteria remain in the mosquito's cells, they compete for the lawn with viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, zika, and yellow fever, which also harbor the mosquito. This seriously affects the ability of these viruses to multiply in mosquito cells.

Scott O'Neil, a microbiologist at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia and director of the WMP, has been experimenting with Wolbachia-modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes since the 1990s and using the Wolbachia method against dengue fever in far north Queensland, Australia.

The conclusions are very optimistic. Because for the first time in more than 100 years, the region is free from dengue. In a subsequent process, a team he led selected the city of Yogyakarta in Indonesia in 2016. The team released Wolbachia-infected Aedes mosquitoes in several randomly selected areas for six months. Research conducted several years later showed that the incidence of dengue fever in areas where Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes were released was reduced by 77% compared to areas without these experimental mosquitoes. The results of the experiment were published last August. The experimental results demonstrate the immense potential of the Wolbachia method to rid the world not only of dengue but also other deadly mosquito-borne diseases.

Sources:- the financial express
 

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