Dengue immune mosquitoes to stop the disease

A team of scientists from the US, Australia and Taiwan has developed mosquitoes immune to dengue virus after inserting a gene from an antibody to embryos of mosquitoes of the Aedes genus.

Mosquito-borne diseases, called vectors, account for more than 17 percent of all infectious diseases worldwide, and more than 700,000 people are killed each year. This is one of the revealing data of the World Health Organization (WHO) in relation to diseases such as Zika, Dengue, Malaria or Chikungunya.

In the specific case of dengue virus, about 3,900 million people worldwide are at risk of suffering from this disease, especially in the most impoverished countries and with less resources to deal with prevention and treatment.

Scientists insert antibodies to carrier mosquitoes
Dengue has no specific cure, but now we have been able to know a hopeful finding for its treatment. A team of scientists from the US, Australia and Taiwan has developed mosquitoes immune to this virus after inserting a gene from an antibody to embryos of mosquitoes of the Aedes genus (carriers of this disease).

The development of this work, published in the specialized journal PLOS Pathogens, will allow to study the feasibility of infected mosquitoes not being able to transmit the virus to humans.

Dengue is an infection that is transmitted by the bite of female mosquitoes of the Aedes genus and, although there is no specific treatment, early detection and health coverage reduce their mortality.

Prevent transmission to humans
“The antibody can hinder the replication of the virus and prevent its spread throughout the mosquito, which prevents its transmission to humans. It’s a powerful approach, ”said one of the research authors and molecular biologist, Omar Akbari, of the University of California (San Diego).

The team of scientists tested with blood infected by the four serotypes of this virus and it could not be seen that the saliva of any mosquito contained it. This is an innovative discovery by using human antibodies in mosquitoes to neutralize and control the virus and provide them with immunity. Without a doubt, a strategy that would improve the prevalence rates of this devastating disease.

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