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When infected with Wolbachia, the mosquitoes are much less likely to transmit diseases such as dengue and Zika, because the bacteria compete with these viruses. The insects also pass the bacteria on to their offspring. Researchers hope that the modified mosquitoes will interbreed with the wild population wherever they are released, and that the number of mosquitoes with Wolbachia will eventually surpass that of mosquitoes without it.


When the scientists compared the incidence of dengue in fully treated areas with that in the same regions in the ten years before the intervention, they found that it had dropped by 95% in Bello and Medellín and by 97% in Itagüí. Since the project started, there hasn’t been a large outbreak of dengue in the region. “They’ve had six years now with a sustained suppression of dengue,” says Anders. “We’re starting to see the real-world effect of Wolbachia.”


The [World Mosquito Program] has conducted one [RCT] in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in which mosquitoes were released in some areas of a city and the incidence of dengue was compared with that in areas that did not receive the insects. The results suggested that the technology could reduce the incidence of dengue by 77%. The organization is now conducting a similar one in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

The RCT:

Despite the positive results, Wolbachia mosquitoes have not yet been officially endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO). The technology awaits an evaluation by the WHO’s Vector Control Advisory Group.

World Mosquito Program:




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If true, this is insanely amazing! 

As someone who lives in a 3rd world country where dengue is endemic and the healthcare systems' treatments and testing are outdated (understandably, as they are super stretched), this would be such an immense relief for us!

It never really sinks in when I learned about this until I had to experience it first hand when I got a 40C/104F fever 2 weeks ago. 

Most hospitals were full. I was finally brought to a private one, but they gave me the wrong dengue test, the wrong medication, the wrong reading of my x-ray and despite being on a stretcher, they couldn't admit me or refer me to the nearest hospital either as they were both over their capacity.

 It's not uncommon to take 20-30 hours sitting at the hospital hall before being able to be admitted, if at all. 

Then, the costs charged after are way out of reach for most people, even in a public hospital. Most families, even the ones I know who are well off and have doctors in their families, end up in debt for years.

400 million infections per year. 

The potential of alleviating so much suffering makes me teary-eyed with happiness. Cross fingers that this goes well!

Yeah, and the acute phase isn't the only suffering. 36,000 deaths are attributed yearly to dengue. And only now with Long Covid, other post-acute infection syndromes like the one following from dengue are getting more attention. I wouldn't be surprised if 0.5-1% develops serious ME/CFS-like chronic illness from it and an additional fraction suffers from less severe lingering symptoms. I personally know someone with severe ME/CFS from it.

Yes! I got long COVID for many months and needed to reduce my work hours significantly. It's under-researched, and there was very little I could do about it. 

I can't imagine how debilitating ME/CFS are. Averting that, too, would be so wonderful.

Agreed! Sounds too good to be true, but I do hope it is! Thanks SiebeRozendal for sharing this news!

The CEO of the World Mosquito Program sat for this podcast interview with the University of Chicago. Recommended for an accessible dive on Wolbachia mosquitoes:

"Why breeding millions of mosquitoes could help save lives"

FDA also approved a Chikungunya (sp?) vaccine recently. lots of tropical winning

Hmm, just looked at it and

Nearly 2% of people who got the vaccine had severe chikungunya-like adverse reactions that required medical intervention.

For a pathogen that caused 5 million cases (is this accurate?) In 15 years, that's considerable risk..

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