A Scientist’s 20-Year Quest To Defeat Dengue FeverPosted: June 8, 2012
Now as I said, Scott’s been pushing this idea of using Wolbachia to control dengue for decades, for a most of that time without any success. I asked Scott what it takes to stick with something for that long.
“I think being obsessive,” he replied. “Being maybe a little ill in that regard. And it’s just that I seem to have focused my obsession onto Wolbachia instead of on to postage stamps or model trains.”
And even though his obsession has brought him to the point where he’s shown he can get his Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to spread in the wild, that’s not the success he’s ultimately after. “Success for me is having a significant impact on dengue disease in communities,” he says.
To do that, he’ll have to release his mosquitoes in a place where there’s a lot of dengue, and then see if that brings down the number of cases of the disease in humans. Those studies are being planned now.