Bacterial infection may limit spread of dengue fever

James Gathany [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Dengue fever is a viral febrile disease caused by flaviviruses carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito vector. It affects tens of millions of people per year, primarily in tropical and African countries. The primary mode of prevention is through mosquito control, but typical mosquito control measures, such as using bed nets and draining areas of standing water, are less effective against A. aegypti mosquitoes because they are day-biters and thrive in urban areas. Now, a group of researchers from University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) reports success with a new method of mosquito control: shortening mosquito lifespan via infection with the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis.

Lab Anim. (NY) 38, 40 (2009).

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