Brazilian researchers in Rio de Janeiro have released thousands of wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to curb dengue fever.
Wolbachia is actually found in 60% of insects and are not transferable to human.
Wolbachia also has an effect on Aedes aegypti mosquito’s reproduction. If a contaminated male fertilises the eggs of a female without the bacteria, these eggs do not turn into larvae.
If the male and female are contaminated or if only a female has the bacteria, all future generations of mosquito will carry Wolbachia.
As a result, these wolbachia-infected mosquitoes are expected to multiply, breed and become the majority of mosquitoes in the wild, thus reducing cases of the disease.
This programme is already being done in Australia, Vietnam and Indonesia.
Brazil leads the world in the number of dengue cases, with 3.2 million cases and 800 deaths reported in the 2009-14 period.