Releasing mosquitoes with Wolbachia bacteria into wild to prevent dengue

Vietnamese Ministry of Health has planned to release mosquitoes with Wolbachia bacteria – a natural bacterium which is safe for human – into wild since March as part of the project to eliminate dengue in Vietnam.

Ministry will release mosquitoes with safe bacteria into wild to reduce outbreaks of dengue and Zika

The aim of the program is to spread Wolbachia into wild mosquito population to reduce the ability of these mosquitoes to transmit disease.

A smaller number of male and female mosquitoes with Wolbachia would be released over weeks and these mosquitoes then mate with the wild mosquito population.
As the bacteria are passed on from generation to generation and over time, the percentage of mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia grows until it remains high without any further releases. Mosquitoes with Wolbachia are less able to transmit viruses to people, so the risk of outbreaks of dengue and Zika in those areas will be reduced.

Before the Ministry has approved the research to assess the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with Wolbachia in a small area in Nha Trang Town in the central province of Khanh Hoa to prevent dengue and Zika

Now, the Ministry is planning to release 100 mosquitoes with the safe bacteria in the North and the South of Nha Trang Town where 55,900 people reside including Vinh Phuoc,Vinh Tho, Vinh Truong and Phuoc Long communes.

By MINH KHANG – translated by Uyen Phuong

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