Sci­en­tific trial nails diseases

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Peter Michael

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.