Laos to Breed Bacteria in Mosquitoes to Prevent Diseases

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The Ministry of Health will test the use of a new breed of mosquito, the yellow fever mosquito (Aedes Aegypti) injected with Wolbachia bacteria, to control dengue fever transmission in Laos.

Dr. Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh, Director General of the Department of Communicable Diseases Control of the Ministry of Health, said in an interview that the purpose of this project is to reduce the transmission of dengue fever and support the goals for the prevention and control of dengue by using comprehensive measures.

This project will begin in early 2023 with the release of mosquitoes with Wolbachia in 32 villages in two districts, including 19 villages in Chanthabury District and 13 villages in Xaysettha District.

The two districts have more house mosquitos and forest or garden mosquitos than other districts in Vientiane Capital, making them ideal for testing this new breed. This exercise is expected to protect up to 86,000 people from dengue infection.

According to the World Mosquito Program (WMP), Wolbachia is a naturally occurring bacterium found in more than 60% of all insects (including some mosquitos that bite humans), but not in house mosquitoes.

The use of house mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia can reduce the transmission of Malaria, Arthritis, Zika, and Yellow fever to humans while also being a safe bacteria for humans, animals, and the environment