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Researchers To Release Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes In Colombia, Brazil To Help Prevent Transmission Of Zika, Other Diseases

Deutsche Welle: Researchers release bacteria-infected mosquitoes to combat Zika
“Researchers said on Wednesday that they plan to release swarms of mosquitoes infected with bacteria to combat the spread of the Zika virus in Colombia and Brazil…” (10/26).

Devex: Gates Foundation to scale potential game changer in Zika, dengue control
“…The U.K.’s Department for International Development, the United States Agency for International Development, and the governments of Colombia and Brazil, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, will fund the $18 million effort. The Gates Foundation is the largest donor, with $8 million, followed by USAID, and the Wellcome Trust jointly with DfID, both offering $5 million…” (Anders, 10/26).

Seattle Times: Far-out idea, backed by Bill Gates, could help stem Zika epidemic
“…The method, which sounds more like science fiction than traditional disease control, involves infecting mosquitoes with bacteria that prevent the bloodsuckers from transmitting Zika to people…” (Doughton, 10/26).

TIME: Scientists to Deploy Millions of Mosquitoes in Fight Against Zika
“…Wolbachia is currently present in 60 percent of insect species across the globe, but does not exist in the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses…” (Gajanan, 10/26).

VOA News: $18M Donation to Target Mosquito-borne Diseases
“…Once infected with Wolbachia, the altered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are unable to transmit dengue. When released into the wild, they mate with local mosquitoes, passing the bacteria to their offspring. Within a few months, the wild mosquitoes are unable to spread dengue to humans…” (Berman, 10/26).