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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin
 

Bacteria putting stop to dengue spread north of Cairns

Date posted: 1 February 2012

The ABC has reported that researchers hope most dengue mosquitoes at Machans Beach, north of Cairns in far north Queensland, will be unable to transmit the disease by the end of the wet season.

For the past month, the Monash University-led team has been releasing mosquitoes with a bacteria that stops them spreading dengue fever.

Program leader Professor Scott O'Neill says 49 per cent of mosquitoes caught are now carrying the wolbachia bacteria and he hopes to almost double that number.

'It's a very good result. We ... would have been happy with a number closer to 20 per cent for this stage of the trial, so a number of 49 per cent was great news to get,' he said.

'We want to see that number hopefully get closer to 100 per cent before the end of the wet season.

'Then we're wanting to see what happens when we stop releasing mosquitoes and whether the wolbachia stays in the mosquito population and it sustains, then that's really the key result for us.

'If that's the case then that population should be ... unable to transmit dengue between people living in Machans Beach.'

The first results from a trial at Babinda, south of Cairns, will be released at the end of the week.

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Last updated: 1 February 2012
 
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