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Fighting disease from within the mosquito: New techniques to help halt the spread of disease
Date:4/10/2013

aken in this new work involves adding a pesticide resistance gene to a newer strain of Wolbachia called wMelPop, which is a strong blocker of dengue and other viruses. Insecticide use is very common in dengue and malaria-prone regions and so this strategy should select for the survival of only the Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes, but then these insects would be unable to pass on a virus to humans.

Prof Hoffmann added that insecticide resistance genes would not spread to the uninfected mosquito populations because a Wolbachia-infected female with a resistance gene will always pass on both the gene and the bacteria to her offspring. Then, when an uninfected female mates with an infected male, the bacterium causes cytoplasmic incompatibility, which leads to the death of embryos.

"So the association between resistance and the infection is maintained, the resistance does not move into the rest of the population, and the strategy can utilize insecticides that are no longer part of active mosquito control programs."


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Contact: Nerissa Hannink
nhannink@unimelb.edu.au
61-430-588-055
University of Melbourne
Source:Eurekalert

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