Scientists develop ‘Super Mosquitoes’ to fight the Zika virus

Zika virus

According to a journal, scientists have reported about the virus they are developing which could potentially fight the Zika virus and dengue fever. These scientists have talked about  their development of an Aedes aegypti strain of a mosquito which has been infected with two types of  bacteria – ‘wolbachia’ which will help control diseases such as chikungunya, dengue and yellow fever.

The journal claims that mosquitoes super-infected with Wolbachia are more effective than singly-infected mosquitoes while blocking dengue replication.

According to news sources, scientists have been able to restrict the replication of these viruses in mosquitoes by injecting a strain of Wolbachia called wMel – which comes from a fruit fly.

There are two other strains also, which are being developed in five countries to evaluate its effectiveness to control dengue disease in the human population.

The results of the study reveal that those mosquitoes which have fed on blood from adult dengue patients had even fewer traces of the virus in their tissues than earlier strains of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes.

The researchers have said that by creating a super infected line with desired phenotypic effects to replace single wild infections provides a potential mechanism to overcome the emergence of resistance to dengue virus.

The Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes.  Symptoms of the Zika are fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

There have been several reports of a serious birth defect called microcephaly which affects the brain. It occurs if the mother is infected with Zika virus during pregnancy. It is a condition in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected when compared to babies of the same age and sex.


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