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Jakarta Post

Modified mosquitoes bring much hope in dengue-endemic Indonesia

  • Ardila Syakriah
    Ardila Syakriah

    The Jakarta Post

PREMIUM
Jakarta   /   Tue, September 1, 2020   /  03:02 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
A doctor checks on a toddler infected by dengue fever at TC Hillers General Hospital in Maumere, Sikka regency, East Nusa Tenggara, on March 10, 2020.(Antara/Kornelis Kaha)

In Indonesia, where dengue remains endemic, recent trial results suggesting that releasing mosquitoes carrying a certain bacteria could lead to a 77 percent reduction of dengue cases have brought much hope. Researchers from the World Mosquito Program (WMP) of Australia’s Monash University, along with Indonesian partner Gadjah Mada University (UGM), have deployed Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in Yogyakarta as part of a randomized controlled trial that started in 2017. Wolbachia is a bacterium that competes with viruses like dengue, making it harder for viruses to reproduce inside mosquitoes, thus reducing their ability to transmit dengue to humans. The bacteria naturally exists in 60 percent of insect species, but not in Aedes aegypti, the main transmitter of dengue and several other viruses. The researchers announced recently that the trial results had shown "a 77 per...