Dengue fever is on the march and threatening the growing populations of Asia and even northern Australia. But a ‘vaccine’ for mosquitoes could stop it in its tracks.
A team of researchers from Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns and Brazil has found a bacterium, Wolbachia, in fruit flies, which could stop mosquitoes from spreading dengue.
For their breakthrough in insect-borne disease control, the Eliminate Dengue team, led by Scott O’Neill from Monash University, has won the 2013 Australian Museum Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research.
“This work is a potential game-changer in the battle against dengue and other insect-borne diseases,” the director of the Australian Museum, Frank Howarth, says.