Recently successful experiments were conducted in Australia, which demonstrated the positive correlation between presence of Wolbachia bacteria in mosquitoes and reduced spread of diseases such as Malaria and Dengue.
Wolbachia bacteria are a tiny bacterium that is present in up to 60% of all species of insects, including several mosquito species.
- It is one of the world‘s most common parasitic microbes and possibly the most common reproductive parasite in the biosphere.
- But it is usually not present in the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary species responsible for transmitting dengue, chikungunya and Zika.
- When present in the mosquito, the viruses (E.g. Zika Virus) cannot replicate and hence small numbers of Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes are released in target areas.
- Once Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes are released, they breed with wild mosquitoes and over time, the majority of mosquitoes carry Wolbachia.