New Mosquito Breed Laden With Bacteria Can Curb Zika Virus

New Mosquito Breed Laden With Bacteria Can Curb Zika Virus


A newly discovered mosquito breed laden with bacteria is found to be capable of keeping a check on the spread of Zika virus and dengue fever, reported health officials of Vietnam on Monday.

The researchers have officially confirmed the capacity of mosquitoes called Aedes aegypti carrying Wolbachia bacteria to block Zika virus and disable it from entering into any human body.

Since April 2013, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes laden with Wolbachia bacteria were released on Tri Nguyen Island in the province of Khanh Hoa, Vietnam. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the chief vectors of both Zika virus and dengue fever; however, they do not inherently carry Wolbachia bacteria.

In the given year, the researchers handed over 8,000 larvae of mosquitoes in totality with Wolbachia bacteria to about 800 families to breed on the island.

The deputy director of the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Tran Nhu Duong said that after three months, about 70-80 percent of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes present on the island carried the bacteria.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on February 1 announced the outbreak of Zika virus, which called for an international health emergency. It referred to a “strongly suspected” connection between Zika infection during pregnancy to microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a condition characterized by unusually small head-sized babies, which can lead to developmental problems.