Biting Back at Dengue — Another Way to Break the Cycle

In an earlier post, I looked at how Dengue is still here, and what our earlier work on dengue epidemiology might still contribute.  Researchers in Australia have developed a new way to intervene in the re-enforcing cycle of mosquitoes getting infected with dengue and spreading it by biting other people.  They inject a common natural bacterium called Wolbachia into the mosquito population, and this bacterium keeps the mosquitoes from spreading dengue.  You can see a cool 3-minute video of how this works.

From our systems-modeling perspective of the dengue epidemiology, work we did at the Mexican Secretariat of Health in 1995, this Wolbachia intervention breaks the link between the “Contagious Mosquito” biting the “Susceptible Person.”  This stops the “Epidemic Spread” feedback loop, without having to deal with the other “Vector Control Intervention Loops.” For details of how to read the following systems map of the dengue epidemiology, click here.

Dengue Systems Map

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