‘Wolbachia’: Pakistan to use Australian technology in an attempt to control dengue

Wolbachia is a type of gram-negative bacteria that infects arthropod species, including insects and nematodes.

In an attempt to control the growing threat of dengue, the government has decided to bring the latest technology from Australia. It has also been decided that preventive measures will be taken from February 2020, so that the virus cannot spread further.

In 2019, 53,805 dengue cases were reported, out of these 95 affected people died due to the fever.
13,292 of these cases were reported from Islamabad.

About 46 people died of dengue in Sindh, 23 in Punjab, three in Balochistan, one in AJK (Azad Jammu and Kashmir) and 22 in Islamabad.

NIH or National Institute of Health’s Executive Director Maj. Gen Dr. Aamer Ikram, while talking to a news outlet, said that while taking into account the fatalities and cases during this year, it had been decided to focus more on predictive modeling, which could be used to know where this situation will stand next year.

“We had sent teams to the United Kingdom for training on predictive modeling and now we strongly believe that dengue can be controlled if all provincial governments take timely action,” he said.

“Moreover, we have decided to send teams to Australia to get training on the latest technology to control dengue. By March 2020, we will sign a memorandum of understanding as Australia has also agreed for the transfer of technology,” he continued.

‘Wolbachia’

Australia has launched a bacterium called ‘Wolbachia’, which is transmitted to the mosquito. When done so, it remains in its DNA from generation to generation. This bacterium prevents the mosquito from transferring dengue to humans.

Wolbachia is a type of gram-negative bacteria that infects arthropod species, including insects and nematodes.

“Though it is a complicated technology, in simple words the bacterium would be included in ponds so that it would transmit into the larva of dengue mosquito. After that it would remain in the mosquitoes and would not allow them to transmit dengue to human beings,” he said.

Dr. Aamer also said that this was being used in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia. And, this March, this will be brought to Pakistan.

“Recently, a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of United States visited Pakistan and appreciated our decision to control dengue through the latest technology,” Dr. said.

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