Scientific trial nails diseases
SCIENTISTS have hailed a world-first breakthrough in wiping out up to 90 per cent of deadly disease-carrying mosquitoes in a trial in north Queensland.
The CSIRO study, made public this week, released three million sterilised male Aedes aegypti mozzies into three tiny sugar towns near Innisfail and almost completely eradicated the dangerous bugs known to carry Dengue, Zika, yellow fever and Chikungunya.
Researchers hope the landmark findings can help prevent global mosquito-borne viral outbreaks of the potentially fatal diseases.
“This is a substantial step forward in our ability to eradicate exotic mosquitoes,’’ CSIRO research director Dr Paul De Barro told the Herald Sun.
With the aggressive Asian tiger mosquito on our doorstep in the Torres Strait, scientists are in a race against time to control the bloodsucking insects.
“We’ve found how to get rid of mosquitoes altogether,’’ Dr De Barro said.
“We don’t want the Asian tiger, also known as the ‘barbecue stopper’ for their biting prowess, getting into mainland Australia.”
The Debug Innisfail project used male mosquitoes infected with a strain of Wolbachia that, when mated with females, caused the mozzie population to crash.