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  1. #1
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    Mosquito swat team released to fight dengue fever

    Some very encouraging research and trials for a biological eradication or mitigation of dengue fever.

    Mosquito swat team released to fight dengue fever


    AUSTRALIAN researchers have bred mosquitoes that are modified to resist infection with the virus that causes dengue fever, a breakthrough that could help reduce the spread of the disease, which afflicts 50million people.

    A trial release of the mosquitoes in two north Australian communities found the modified insects could completely replace wild mosquito populations that carry the disease.

    The novel technique will be trialled in other dengue afflicted regions in Australia and around the world. The program leader and chief investigator of the Eliminate Dengue program, Scott O'Neill, said if the virus could not grow in mosquitoes it could not be transferred to people.

    He said to make the mosquitoes resistant the team inserted tiny bacteria called Wolbachia, which is naturally present in many insects and blocks the growth of the dengue virus, into several mosquito embryos.

    A geneticist and co-author of the study, Ary Hoffmann, said one of the advantages of the bacteria was its ability to spread rapidly in an insect population, passing from mother to her offspring.

    And if non-infected females mated with an infected male, her offspring would die, making it easier for infected mosquitoes to replace a non-infected community, Professor Hoffmann said.

    After laboratory tests confirmed infected mosquitoes could totally replace a wild population, the team released more than 300,000 modified adult mosquitoes around houses in two towns near Cairns, Gordonvale and Yorkeys Knob in several months.

    Five to six weeks after the final releases, the infected insects had replaced the wild population by 100per cent in Yorkeys Knob and 90per cent in Gordonvale.

    A professor of tropical health at James Cook University, Scott Ritchie, said the team was optimistic of the trial, and were pleased when the results, published in two papers in the journal Nature, confirmed their expectations.

    Dr O'Neill said these areas should now have a significantly reduced risk of dengue fever transmission, and that a single release should be enough for the modified mosquitoes to persist in the population.

    He said the next step would be to measure dengue fever outbreaks in the trial communities and expand the program throughout communities around Cairns, and to other regions of the world affected by dengue such as Thailand, Vietnam, Brazil and Indonesia.

    There is no treatment or vaccine for dengue fever, which has been contracted by more than 2400 people in northern Australia since 2000. Mosquitoes are also becoming resistant to pesticides used to control outbreaks.

  2. #2
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    begs the question , if they can do that , why not create a bacteria that kills off all misquitoes.

  3. #3
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    ^ They didn't create the bacteria, they are just introducing it.

  4. #4
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    "After laboratory tests confirmed infected mosquitoes could totally replace a wild population, the team released more than 300,000 modified adult mosquitoes around houses"

    Sorry ... you are going to release how many around my home?

    Are you crazy!

  5. #5
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    ^ dickhead

  6. #6
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    I foresee a new resting place on the BTS for shagged out bugs Sala Dengue

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