Dengue fever cut by 77% for mosquito testing | Health Issues
The results of this three-year study give hope to the global war on diseases that affect millions each year.
Dengue fever declined sharply in an Indonesian study in which bacteria were caused by mosquitoes that carry disease, giving hope in the fight against diseases that infect millions each year worldwide.
The results of a three-year study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine this week, found that transmitting dengue-carrying mosquitoes and harmless bacteria Wolbachia led to a 77-percent decline in the population.
The need for hospitalization also dropped by 86% in Wolbachia-assisted areas in Yogyakarta, a city on the island of Java where the trial took place, researchers said.
The study was conducted by the World Mosquito Program at Monash University in Australia and at Gadjah Mada University in Indonesia.
Adi Utarini, a public health researcher at Gadjah Mada University who is leading the study, said: “77 per cent of the population is very attractive due to infectious diseases.”
The case involves the release of Wolbachia from a mosquito group in other parts of Yogyakarta to determine the effects of the infectious disease between the ages of three and 45 years.
It has now expanded to other parts of the city.
Wolbachia prevents the virus from being able to act like a mosquito that carries Aedes aegypti and causes the disease to bite people.
Previous trials involving Wolbachia – found in fruit flies and other insects – also showed positive results in reducing dengue fever, researchers said.
Scientists hope that the process could be a game-changer in the global war on the disease, which can sometimes be fatal.
Symptoms include body aches, fever and nausea.
“This is the result we have been hoping for,” said Scott O’Neill, World Mosquito Program director.
“We have evidence that our Wolbachia approach is safer, more stable and more effective in reducing dengue.
“It gives us great confidence that this approach will benefit the whole world when given to people at risk of mosquito-borne diseases,” he added.
Dengue is the most common mosquito-related disease worldwide with more than 50 million people worldwide each year, including about eight million in Indonesia.
Studies also show that Wolbachia’s method can be effective in preventing the spread of Zika, mildew, yellow fever and other mosquito-borne diseases, researchers said.