Sri Lanka

Wolbachia’ bacteria to be released on Feb 17

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A pilot project to combat Dengue by means of Wolbachia, is to be launched on February 17" in Dematagoda and Nugegoda areas, National Dengue Control Unit (NDCU) Director Dr. Anura Jayasekera said. Dr. Jayasekara said the bacteria 'Wolbachia' is to be injected into the bodies of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, (the main carriers of the dengue virus).

Wolbachia, inside the body of the vector, competes with the virus for food and energy, making it hard for the virus to reproduce inside the mosquitoes, inhibiting the transmission of the virus. The bacterial is naturally passed on from one mosquito generation to another through eggs. Safe for humans and the environment the release of Wolabachia induced A. aegypti by the NDCU is scheduled to happen during the first two weeks of February.

Meanwhile, the cause for high-rise of the dengue patients, during the past two months of January and December 2019 is due to the changing weather patterns and the latent serotype being active (DENV3), said Dr. Jayasekera.As reported by the Epidemiology Unit, 104,672 cases have been reported from January 1 to December 31, 2019. During the last 10 years, there has only been shown an upheaval of the rate with the increase of dengue patients from all parts of the country.

Dengue fever (DF) and the more severe Dengue Hemorrhagic fever (DHF) are produced by the four serotypes of the Dengue viruses (DENV1, DENV2, DENV3 & DENV4). The highest incidents 186101 reported in the year 2017 is a cause by this DENV2.