HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS CONFERENCE CALENDAR
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 20, No 12, December 2016 – Medical Imaging Technology       » Climate Change Could Hurt Coffee, Help Banana Production       » Partnerships and Innovation: Shaping the Future of Healthcare in Asia Pacific       » Chugai's Novel Antibody Technologies Put Singapore at the Centre of Fight Against Disease       » NUS Scientists Discover the "Switch" that Makes Breast Cancer Cells Aggressive      
BIOBOARD - VIETNAM
Setback for dengue-blocking mosquito trial in Vietnam
A project to introduce mosquitoes that could potentially block dengue virus on an island off Vietnam has run into an early hurdle: the number of mosquitoes carrying a bacteria that prevents them from transmitting dengue is falling below the target level.

Last April, researchers released the dengue-blocking mosquitoes on Tri Nguyen Island with an aim to field test the mosquitoes implanted with the Wolbachia bacterium.

Wolbachia can be transmitted by an infected female mosquito to her offspring. Uninfected females that mate with infected males rarely produce fertile eggs. This gives infected females an advantage and helps the bacteria spread quickly through a mosquito population — at least in theory.

The researchers had calculated that if the introduced mosquitoes grew in number to 80 per cent of the island's mosquito population, the 3,200 people living there would be protected from dengue.

After reaching close to 80 per cent in August, the percentage of mosquitoes with the bacteria has fallen to below 65 per cent in early December, the study's lead researcher, Scott O'Neill, a professor at Monash University in Australia, explains.

O'Neill says the trend suggests the mosquitoes infected with the bacteria are dying possibly from the effect of bacteria, which do not occur naturally in mosquitoes, and that the bacteria will not stay in the island's mosquito population for the long term.

He insists the project is going well despite the setback.

"We're in a process of optimizing different strains of the [bacterium] Wolbachia and different approaches to deploying [the dengue-blocking mosquitoes], so it is just the first step in a series of trials," he says.

O'Neill adds that the next field trial may begin in Vietnam in April or May, pending government approval.

The Wolbachia bacterium functions as a 'vaccine' for the mosquito by protecting it against many types of viruses including dengue virus possibly reducing the spread to humans. According to the WHO dengue infects up to 100 million people worldwide annually.

Field trials to introduce mosquitoes that block the spread of dengue fever have been under way in Australia for the past three years as part of the Eliminate Dengue Program.

The Vietnam field trial is the program's first outside Australia, and there are plans to conduct field trials next year in Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia, says O'Neill.

"Success for us is not measured in a single trial," he adds. "It's measured over a number of trials in different locations, and overall the research is going very well at the moment despite the Wolbachia dropping out of that particular trial in Vietnam."

Duane Gubler, a professor at the Emerging Infectious Diseases program at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, says the results of the Vietnam study are "disappointing" but "not surprising".

Even before the Wolbachia strain was introduced on the island, scientists suspected field trials would be less effective than it had been in the laboratory because of too many variables such as weather, he adds.

"These results should not discourage us as they are typical of the successes and failures that occur when a control approach developed in the laboratory is introduced to the field," says Gubler.

Mike Ives
Source: Science Development Network

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Accuron Technologies' MedTech Division Invests into AWAK Technologies
news Philips introduces PerformanceBridge suite of operational performance improvement software and services for radiology departments
news Give a Gift that Will Last a Lifetime this Holiday Season with Smile Train
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  

Lady Ganga: Nilza'S Story
COLUMNS  
Subscribe to APBN E-Newsletter
Find us under 'Others' option to receive APBN e-newsletters thrice a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2017
January:
Lungs & Respiratory System
February:
Cancer Research, Treatment/Technology
March:
Traditional Chinese Medicines
April:
Eye Care/ Eye Health
May:
The Piece of Your Mind - Brain Health/Science
June:
Featuring Biotech Start-Ups/Companies
July:
Food Science & Technology
August:
Diabetics Technology
September:
No. 1 Killer - Heart Diseases, Diagnosis and Treatment
October:
Skin Diseases/Allergic Reactions
November:
Diseases threatening our Children
December:
Liver Health & Treatment/Technology
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
– Editor: Carmen, Jia Wen Loh
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Carmen
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2016 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy