Breakthrough in eliminating dengue, other mosquito-borne diseases

From the Berkeley News
August 26, 2020

A 27-month trial in Indonesia of a unique method of mosquito control shows that the strategy can reduce the incidence of dengue — a mosquito-borne viral disease of the tropics that threatens nearly half the world’s population — by 77%.

The method, which employs Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected by bacteria called Wolbachia, effectively prevents dengue-infected mosquitoes from passing on the virus when they bite people. The study, the preliminary results of which were released today (Wednesday, Aug. 26), looked only at dengue, but the mosquito control strategy may likely work for other viruses carried by A. aegypti mosquitoes, including Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

“It is a huge breakthrough,” said Nicholas Jewell, a Professor of the Graduate School at the University of California, Berkeley, who designed the study and led the statistical analysis. “We’ve now shown that it works in one city. If this can be replicated and used widely, it could eradicate dengue from several parts of the world for many years.”

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