Aussie mosquito experiment helps wipe out deadly mosquitoes

SYDNEY, July 10 (Xinhua) -- A three month trial which successfully wiped out 80 percent of a particularly dangerous mosquito population in Australia has created quite a buzz, with scientists now believing the experiment could hold the key to combating a number of deadly diseases.

"The invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito is one of the world's most dangerous pests, capable of spreading devastating diseases like dengue, Zika and chikungunya and responsible for infecting millions of people with disease around the world each year," Dr Rob Grenfell, director of health and biosecurity at Australia's national science body, the CSIRO, said on Tuesday.

In November 2017, cooperating with James Cook University in Australia and Verily University in the United States, scientists released three million non-biting male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that had sterilized with the natural bacteria called Wolbachia at a number of location along the Cassowary Coast in the North of Queensland State.

As a result, when they mated with female mosquitoes, their eggs did not hatch, creating a massive reduction in the population.

"Although the majority of mosquitoes do not spread diseases, the three mostly deadly types, Aedes, Anopheles and Culex are found almost all over the world and are responsible for around 17 percent of infectious disease transmissions globally," Grenfell explained.

Due to increased urbanization and warmer temperatures, scientists believe more people are now at risk as these mosquitoes which were once relegated to areas near the equator forge past previous climatic boundaries.

[ Editor: WPY ]
 

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