Fiocruz project that reduces dengue transmission is expanded in Rio

Fiocruz project that reduces dengue transmission is expanded in Rio
Fiocruz project that reduces dengue transmission is expanded in Rio
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Ten years after a first attempt, the municipal Health Department (SMS), with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and the World Mosquito Program Brazil (WMP Brasil), begins a new stage in the expansion of the Wolbachia Method in the city of Rio this Tuesday (2): Aedes aegypti with the Wolbachia bacteria, a microorganism present in the so-called fruit fly, will be released in the Center, Caju and Ilha de Paquetá. A biological technology has proven effective in reducing cases of dengue, zika and chikungunya in Brazilian cities such as Niterói and in 13 other countries.

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Created in Australia and driven in Brazil by Fiocruzin partnership with local governments, the Wolbachia Method consists of injecting this bacterium with a pompous name into Aedes aegypti. Wolbachia prevents viruses from dengue, zika, chikungunya and urban yellow fever develop inside the insects, nicknamed Wolbites, contributing to reducing the incidence of these diseases. Once contaminated, the female mosquito – which transmits arboviruses – is capable of transmitting it to all her descendants, even if she mates with males without the bacteria. Furthermore, when only the male has Wolbachia, the fertilized eggs die. In this way, the bacteria is transmitted naturally to new generations of mosquitoes.

The method was brought to Brazil by agronomist Luciano Moreira, researcher at Fiocruz, ten years ago. Literally. With regulatory approvals, he disembarked carrying 5 to 10 thousand imported eggs – amount that could fit in an envelope. In Niterói, the project began as a pilot in the Jurujuba area and spread throughout the municipality, resulting in positive results: studies showed reduction of around 70% of dengue cases, 60% of chikungunya and 40% of zika in the areas where the intervention took place. At Australia, where it was created, the method led to a 96% reduction in dengue cases. In four years, the Indonesia also presented positive results, with a 77% drop in cases. In the city of Rio, however, the initiative, which began in 2014, on Ilha do Governador, did not go ahead at the time.

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To expand the project and take it beyond the ten municipalities in which it was already being developed, Moreira highlights the importance of building a new and large biofactory, announced last year as the result of a partnership between the Institute of Molecular Biology of Paraná (IBMP) with Fiocruz and WMP. It will be able to produce up to 100 million eggs per week.

The article is in Portuguese

Brazil

Tags: Fiocruz project reduces dengue transmission expanded Rio

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