Breeding mosquitoes to contain them: What at first seems completely illogical, according to those responsible, makes perfect sense.
According to the operators, the world‘s first factory for breeding mosquitoes on an industrial scale is to be built in Australia. The aim is to fight mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, yellow fever, zika or chikungunya.
The aid organization World Mosquito Program (WMP) has teamed up with the French start-up InnovaFeed for the project. Up until now, it specialized in the production of insect protein for animal feed.
Dengue fever infections decreased by 77 percent
The World Mosquito Program developed a process around ten years ago in which female mosquitoes are infected with the Wolbachia bacterium. This reduces the likelihood that other viruses such as dengue fever can multiply in the mosquito’s body. This also reduces the likelihood of transmission to humans.
The WMP had released mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia in several large-scale experiments in Australia, Brazil, New Caledonia and Indonesia, among others. According to WMP, studies in Indonesia showed that dengue fever infections in the affected areas decreased by 77 percent within three years.