PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry will release mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia micro-organism in an identified area in Selangor soon to see its impact on reducing dengue cases in the country, said Minister Dr S Subramaniam.
He said the pilot project study was to understand the behaviour of the disease-transmitting mosquito species, and it would be continued in other areas in coming weeks.
The deployment of the Wolbachia was introduced in January last year by the Institute for Medical Research in collaboration with Lancaster University, United Kingdom, he said.
“Based on the study, we will decide whether it’s useful to do it in other areas in the country,” Subramaniam said at a press conference at his ministry here today.
Last year, Bernama reported quoting Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah as saying that injecting the Wolbachia micro-organism into the Aedes Aegypti mosquito eggs was seen as a method to prevent the spread of the dengue virus among humans.
He had said that the eggs did not carry the dengue virus and thus prevented the spread of dengue.
“The Wolbachia will block the dengue virus from replicating within the mosquito,” Dr Noor Hisham was quoted as saying.
Wolbachia is a micro-organism that lives naturally in the reproductive organs of insects and exists in about 60% of insects except for the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. -FMT