UK collaboration to test biological control of mosquitoes

The new biological control method is based on releasing Wolbachia-infected males in a targeted area. Unlike their female counterparts, male mosquitoes do not bite or transmit disease. The males mate with females and render the females sterile.Dobson began testing the biological controls effectiveness in small laboratory cages and progressed to greenhouses, releasing more infected male mosquitoes each time.\”In laboratory and greenhouse conditions, we can eliminate a population in just over eight weeks,\” Dobson said.The technology is being field tested through a collaboration between UK and MosquitoMate, a small, start-up company in Lexington. MosquitoMate is led by Jimmy Mains, a former student in Dobsons laboratory whose doctoral research focused on Wolbachias ability to control Asian tiger mosquitoes in laboratory and greenhouse settings.\”Its exciting to participate as this technology progresses from an idea developed at the University of Kentucky, through laboratory trials and now to a real-world application,\” Mains said.Mosquito populations peaked before the researchers received the EPA permit this summer. Therefore their initial work this past summer in Lexington was limited to small-scale trials, examining male mating and flight distance in the field. This information will help guide early work next year, when researchers hope to see significant impacts on Asian tiger mosquito populations in Lexington.

via UK collaboration to test biological control of mosquitoes.


Complacent Australian travellers are catching the Chikungunya virus |

The 30-year-old Perth student is one of a record number of Australians who have returned from South East Asia and surrounding countries with Chikungunya virus this year.

It is an unwelcome souvenir more than 100 Australians — almost 10 times as many than previous years — have brought back from their holidays and experts warn the numbers will continue to climb during the wet season.

Ms Merrett, a medical student at the University of Western Australia, contracted Chikungunya during the last week of her travels through PNG in March — and she is still feeling daily pain today.

“I wasn’t overly complacent, I was quite worried about malaria and taking tablets to avoid that,” she said.

“I was sleeping under a mosquito net every night and pretty good about wearing long sleeves in the evening and putting mosquito repellent on my ankles and hands in the evening.

“But maybe because I was there for eight weeks and maybe because there was an outbreak at the time (I was unlucky).”

For the first week Ms Merrett spent 20 hours a day in bed.

She spent four months taking anti-inflammatories daily just to ease the pain in her muscles and joints.

via Complacent Australian travellers are catching the Chikungunya virus |

How Smartphones Became Vital Tools Against Dengue In Pakistan : Shots – Health News : NPR

One reason for the accolades is that Saif took the mobile campaign one step further: He built a Google map that correlates the locations of dengue cases and hot spots for mosquito larvae. “So there’s a clear pattern of disease outbreak that corresponds to reports of positive dengue larvae,” he says.

With these visuals, Saif and his team could zero in on problem regions in the province and predict future outbreaks.

The mobile phone campaign also helps to stop another issue that plagues Pakistan: entrenched public sector corruption.

“You have people who have not done — maybe for decades — work as well as they were supposed to do,” Saif says. “So the government needs to therefore now use technology in innovative ways to monitor its functions.”

via How Smartphones Became Vital Tools Against Dengue In Pakistan : Shots – Health News : NPR.

Expansion of dengue is expected to increase due to …climate change, globalization, travel, … socioeconomics, settlement … viral evolution…

Epidemiology of dengue: past, present and future prospects.

Researchers on Dengue meeting in Havana – August 12 +

Havana – Renowned Cuban and foreign professors attend the XIII International Course on Dengue, expected to be held on the premises of the Institute of Tropical Medicine “Pedro Kourí” (IPK), in the Cuban capital from August 12 to 23.

via Cuba promotes international course on Dengue Fever – English

BBC News – Honduras declares state of emergency over dengue fever

Honduras has declared a state of emergency after an outbreak of dengue fever which has killed 16 people so far this year.

More than 12,000 people have been diagnosed with the disease, which causes high fever and joint pains….

Health Minister Salvador Pineda said more than half of Honduras’ municipalities have registered cases of the viral infection this year.

The worst outbreak of dengue in Honduras was in 2010, when 83 people died.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the incidence of dengue has increased 30-fold over the last 50 years.

via BBC News – Honduras declares state of emergency over dengue fever.

Insight: The CDC explains its evaluation and action on dengue outbreak in Angola

Luanda receives numerous international visitors each year, and some of them were bringing the unwanted souvenir of dengue back home with them. When physicians see a patient with a fever who has recently traveled to Africa, they are likely to suspect malaria, but not dengue. There were also three other dengue outbreaks in Africa in 2013, so the issue of clinical recognition of dengue was not likely to be limited to travelers returning from Angola. Because of this and the rapidly increasing case count, we decided to release an MMWR to notify clinicians in the U.S. and abroad of the need to be vigilant for dengue as a potential cause of fever in residents of and travelers returning from Angola.

via CDC – Blogs – Public Health Matters Blog – The Reality of Outbreak Investigations: Dengue in Angola.