Bacteria-infected mosquitoes to fight dengue fever

By Andy Rice 8 October 2010

Scientists from the University of Queensland in Australia have come up with a cunning plan to combat dengue fever, which is carried by mosquitoes. They've discovered that injecting female Aedes mosquitos with a fruit-fly bacterium called Wolbachia limits their ability to transmit the disease. The resistant mosquitoes will be released into the wild in Australia and Vietnam next year, and it is thought that their descendants will become dominant, as Wolbachia-infected females can breed with both infected and wild males, while their wild female counterparts are restricted to reproducing with wild males only. Currently, 40,000 people are killed by dengue fever each year, with 100 million being infected, but if the experiment works, these numbers should start falling. Read more: New Scientist