In a "groundbreaking" trial, Dengue fever cases have been cut by 77%. As per scientists, in the trial, the mosquitoes that spread dengue were manipulated. They used "miraculous" bacteria that reduce the insect's ability to spread the disease.

The trial took place in Yogyakarta city, Indonesia, and is being expanded in the hope of eradicating the virus. The World Mosquito Programme team says it could be a solution to a virus that has gone around the world.

   

'Miraculous' mosquito hack cuts dengue by 77%

WHAT?

In a "groundbreaking" trial, Dengue fever cases have been cut by 77%. As per scientists, in the trial, the mosquitoes that spread dengue were manipulated. They used "miraculous" bacteria that reduce the insect's ability to spread dengue.

HOW?

The trial used mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria. One of the researchers, Dr Katie Anders, describes them as "naturally miraculous".

Wolbachia doesn't harm the mosquito, but it camps out in the same parts of its body that the dengue virus needs to get into.

The bacteria compete for resources and make it much harder for dengue virus to replicate, so the mosquito is less likely to cause an infection when it bites again.

WHERE?

The results, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed a 77% reduction in cases and an 86% reduction in people needing hospital care when the insects were released.

MORE:

The technique has been so successful the mosquitoes have been released across the whole city and the project is moving to surrounding areas with the aim of eradicating dengue in the region.