While mosquitoes are known to spread the tropical decease of Dengue Fever with their pinching bites, a new study has found that bacteria infected mosquitoes reduce the risk of transmitting the disease to humans.
Australian scientists have found that Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, known to carry the Dengue virus, can resist spreading it when infected by a particular kind of bacterial parasite called Wolbachia. Scientists tested to see whether these species could displace ordinary mosquitoes in order to reduce the spreading of the virus that is contracted by 50 million humans per year.
Researchers in Australia released more than 140,000 resistant mosquitoes into an isolated community near Cairns, Australia, finding after 10 weeks that between 90-100 percent of the wild mosquito population had been displaced by the resistant specie carrying the special type of bacteria, the Associated Press Reported.
The study showed that when male mosquitoes infected by the bacteria mated with uninfected females, all of their offspring die, and when they mate with infected females their off spring survives.
While this study has led to a breakthrough in research towards fighting the virus, scientists are still posed with hurdles as they will need to test the idea in areas where dengue is spread constantly rather than sporadically in Australia and researchers will need to test whether it works for different strains of the virus.
A full report of the study has been published in the journal Nature.