How to control dengue fever spread

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Melbourne, December 25 (ANI): Researchers from University of Queensland's (UQ) School of Biological Sciences claim to found a way to control the spread of dengue fever.

The disease afflicts more than 50 million people and kills more than 40,000 worldwide every year.

However, a team led by Professor Scott O'Neill insists mosquitoes transmitting dengue fever can be infected with a bacterium that can shorten their lifespan, lessening the chances of them infecting humans.

"In a surprising development we have found that mosquitoes carrying this bacterium - known as Wolbachia - are resistant to a range of pathogens that cause disease in humans including dengue, Chikungunya and malaria parasites," News.com.au quoted him as saying.

He added: "What this means is our original proposed method for dengue control may be more effective than we had previously considered and may even be extended to a range of other diseases in the future."

At present, there is no vaccine or cure for dengue fever or "breakbone fever", which is affecting tropical parts of the developing world the most.

The research is part of a large research program funded through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative.

The study has been published in leading scientific journal Cell. (ANI)

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