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Bacterium blocks transmission of dengue by mosquitoes

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d5545 (Published 31 August 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d5545
  1. Geoff Watts
  1. 1London

Infecting mosquitoes with a bacterium that makes them resistant to dengue virus successfully blocks its transmission, new research has shown.

The control strategy, tested by an Australian research group led by Scott O’Neill of Monash University, Melbourne, depends on infecting Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with a strain of the common bacterium Wolbachia. Study results show that the infected mosquitoes become resistant to dengue virus and so are do not transmit it.

With the potential to generate unexpected consequences, biological techniques for the control of disease have had a chequered history. That the Australian researchers have already …

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