News of World Medicine

Bacterial infection is the best alternative to dengue vaccine

     According to data presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the incidence of dengue infection has declined significantly in Australia, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam regions, where laboratory-grown mosquitoes with wolbachia were released. Wolbachia is a natural bacterium that infects approximately 60% of insects, but, as a rule, is not found in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, known as dengue carriers.

     Wolbachia belongs to gram-negative pleomorphic bacteria, obligate intracellular symbionts of arthropods and nematodes. The scientists have suggested that wolbachia can prevent mosquito-borne disease, and may become the optimal cost-effective method for preventing dengue: this method does not require genetic modification and it is not toxic as well. In 2017, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the use of Wolbachia to fight mosquitoes in the United States.

     The World Mosquito Control Program reported that wolbachia-infected mosquitoes were released in 10 countries with 4.4 million people. The program continues and to be spread to other countries as evidence of its effectiveness become available. So far, the researchers have reported a significant reduction in dengue infection in 2018–2019: 86% in Vietnam, 76% in Indonesia, 70% in Brazil. In Brazil, The infection `rate of chikunguli has also decreased by more than 70%.

     Source: HEALIO