Govt. introduces new bacteria to control dengue

from Government of Sri Lanka
Published on 08 Dec 2019 View Original

The Ministry of Health has taken steps to introduce a bacteria called Wolbachia to control the dengue mosquitoes.Using Wolbachia bacteria to eradicate dengue mosquitoes has successfully being utilized in Australia. The bacteria was introduced after years of laboratory testing and field testing.

According to the Ministry of Health, it has been decided to release the Wolbachia bacteria to the environment from next February.The pilot project is to be carried out in Colombo and Nugegoda in February. Bacteria are to be released in 25 Grama Niladhari Divisions around Colombo, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Health Dr. Paba Palihawadana said revealed at a media briefing in Colombo yesterday (07).

The World Mosquito Eradication Program states that it is timely to introduce the bacteria Wolbachia, to control one of the worst epidemics in the world.Australia was the first country in the world to release the bacteria to control the mosquito-borne diseases. No dengue case has been reported in Australia for the last 8 years.

The bacteria is being used successfully in 12 countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, the Pacific Islands, Vietnam, India, and Mexico.At the World Mosquito Program, Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes are bred and in partnership with local communities, released them into areas affected by mosquito-borne diseases.When Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry Wolbachia, the bacteria competes with viruses like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever reducing the transmission of the virus to the diseases.

Under this program, all households will be provided with mosquito eggs and a capsule containing the food they need. The mosquitoes can be bred by placing the egg capsule in a container of water and leave it tightly closed for two weeks. The grown mosquitoes are then released to the environment.The World Mosquito Program aims to successfully roll out the project to 100 million people worldwide by 2023.