In DepthInfectious Diseases

Bacteria-armed mosquitoes make dent in dengue

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Science  29 Nov 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6469, pp. 1056
DOI: 10.1126/science.366.6469.1056

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Summary

In a handful of cities around the world, mosquitoes have been armed with a microscopic weapon against disease. The bacterium Wolbachia pipientis blocks the insects' ability to spread fearsome viruses such as dengue, Zika, and chikungunya. Since 2011, researchers have been injecting Wolbachia into the eggs of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and releasing the hatched insects, which spread this protection to their offspring. But they've been waiting for evidence that this approach actually reduces disease in people. Signs that it does came last week in preliminary results from several trials in tropical areas burdened with mosquito-borne viruses such as dengue. In some release areas, researchers found as much as a 76% reduction in the rate of dengue.

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