Skip to comments.Microbes: Fighting Mosquito-Transmitted Viruses With Bacteria That Infect Many Insects
Posted on 01/06/2010 8:07:43 PM PST by neverdem
A type of bacteria that infects many insects may make mosquitoes more resistant to viruses that can be dangerous to humans, researchers have found.
The discovery could be helpful in the battles against two painful and sometimes fatal diseases, dengue and chikungunya.
Last year, researchers showed they could take Wolbachia bacteria from fruit flies and infect mosquitoes with it, cutting their already brief life spans by half. That discovery was important because most of the malaria transmitted by female mosquitoes is transmitted late in their lives. They must pick up the parasites by biting an infected human, and it takes days for them to mature and migrate to the salivary glands to infect the next human bitten.
Now, according a new report in the journal Cell, researchers from Australia and Brazil have shown that the Wolbachia infection makes the Aedes aegypti mosquito more resistant to dengue, which is also known as breakbone fever, and to chikungunya, known as bending-up disease....
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Wolbachia are maternally inherited intracellular bacterial symbionts that are estimated to infect more than 60% of all insect species. While Wolbachia is commonly found in many mosquitoes it is absent from the species that are considered to be of major importance for the transmission of human pathogens. The successful introduction of a life-shortening strain of Wolbachia into the dengue vector Aedes aegypti that halves adult lifespan has recently been reported. Here we show that this same Wolbachia infection also directly inhibits the ability of a range of pathogens to infect this mosquito species. The effect is Wolbachia strain specific and relates to Wolbachia priming of the mosquito innate immune system and potentially competition for limiting cellular resources required for pathogen replication. We suggest that this Wolbachia-mediated pathogen interference may work synergistically with the life-shortening strategy proposed previously to provide a powerful approach for the control of insect transmitted diseases.
Fascinating in deed.
The mother passes on these bacteria and yet it halves the life of insect.
You would think that these bacteria would have either caused the host insects to become extinct or the host would have become resistant to the bacteria.
Diseases are not the only danger to humans from mosquito’s. About a year or so ago I became ill and my weight dropped from 195 down to 165 over the space of a few months. To make a long story short they eventually found a mass in my left lung and it looked like I might have lung cancer. I had surgery to remove the tumor and when they dissected it they found the mass was encapsulating two dead heartworm larvae. I researched the subject and found a couple of cases where the worms had grown to adulthood in humans.
Ping... (Thanks, neverdem!)
Wouldn’t DDT work just as well, without the ma$$ive re$earch effort$?
Efficacy is known, and no birdie eggshells to thin...oh right, wasn’t that disproven?
Efficacy is known, and no birdie eggshells to thin...oh right, wasnt that disproven?
IMHO, more than one weapon is needed.
Might be a little out of the loop here. How can there be DDT resistant bugs if the substance has been banned since silent spring went wide....sometime in the 70’s?
Will hit the article.
Fruit flies are like the Atlas Van Lines of bacteria. You name it, they got it...
Funny, for an insect so tiny.
Thanks for the ping!
Thanks for the ping.