Dengue cure on the horizon?

For those from Brazil, the word ‘dengue’ is more likely than not a household term. Various sprays have been concocted to combat the disease but most mosquitos end up becoming resistant. Scientists in Australia may be found a cure, the story is below…

“Humans could be protected from dengue fever by infecting the mosquitoes carrying it with a parasite which halves their lifespan, say researchers.

Australian scientists, writing in the journal Science, found that Wolbachia bacteria spread well through laboratory-bred mosquitoes.

Only older mosquitoes pass on dengue – so killing them could cut disease.

Experts said it remained to be seen how well the bacteria would spread outside the laboratory.

The virus might also adapt to survive, they added.

Many thousands of cases of dengue fever occur worldwide each year, mainly in warmer tropical countries.

The virus is passed to humans when mosquitoes carrying it feed on their blood, and while there have been efforts to eradicate them using insecticides, these have been fraught with problems, including the ability of the mosquito to become resistant to the chemicals used.

The potential of Wolbachia as a way of controlling mosquito populations has been suggested for some time, but the latest study offers hope – albeit under laboratory conditions – that it might work.”

The rest is here on BBC.