ICMR-VCRC Develops Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes To Control Dengue Strains

According to Dr Ashwani, these mosquitoes have been discovered appropriate for replacing both dengue and chikungunya viruses. He mentioned that these mosquitoes can "bring down substantially copy number of these viruses of both dengue and chikungunya viruses".

By Anushka Vats
Wed, 06 Jul 2022 05:00 PM IST
Minute Read
ICMR-VCRC Develops Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes To Control Dengue Strains
Screenshot of the video posted by ANI

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Vector Control Research Centre (VCRC) in Puducherry developed two mosquito colonies infected with bacteria to Dr control the dengue strains. The Research Centre developed two colonies of Aedes aegypti, infected with wMel and wAlbB Wolbachia strains called Ae. aegypti (Pud) for decreasing the spread of the viral disease.

The VCRC had been working on Wolbachia mosquitoes, a microscopic organism, for the last four years. "It is actually an endosymbiont. We call it endo means inside and biont means give and take relationship. What does it do in the sitting in every cell of mosquito, it actually makes it a home and then all Wolbachia here can effectively control the viruses, like dengue virus," said Director, ICMR-VCRC, Dr Ashwani Kumar, as quoted by news agency ANI.

The Research Centre brought nearly ten thousand eggs containing two strains wMel and wAlbB from Monash University and was cleared by the Indian government to do the research. Dr Ashwani further explained that they cross the Wolbachia eggs with the local strain of Puducherry Aedes aegypti.

"These Wolbachia eggs we hatch the mosquitoes and then we back cross them with the local strain of Puducherry Aedes aegypti and now we have created that mosquitoes of Puducherry having Wolbachia. After backcrossing now we have stable lines of Wolbachia carrying these mosquitoes," Ashwani said.

According to Dr Ashwani, these mosquitoes have been discovered appropriate for replacing both dengue and chikungunya viruses. He mentioned that these mosquitoes can "bring down substantially copy number of these viruses of both dengue and chikungunya viruses".

Speaking about the study, the expert told that the study started four years back. He cited good potential in the study but mentioned that the approval of the government is still pending. Further talking about the project he said that it will need many government approvals as they need to release the mosquitoes every week in the local areas.

He further said that it's like "mosquitoes are replacing the mosquitoes", adding, that the female mosquitoes will mate with the local males and when the next generation will be produced, it will have the Wolbachia in it. And slowly, steadily the local population will be replaced. "We have the eggs and mosquitoes in the laboratory and whenever it's required then we will release these mosquitoes," he mentioned.


(With ANI inputs)

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