31 Aug 2004

Scientists test genetically-modified mosquitoes against dengue fever

6:41 am on 31 August 2004

Scientists are conducting laboratory tests using genetically modified mosquitoes in an attempt to halt the transmission of dengue fever in the Asia-Pacific region.

A researcher at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, Anne-Bella Failloux, told an international conference in Noumea that tests are currently underway in Vietnam.

Tahiti Presse says the objective is to eventually release the genetically-modified mosquitoes which are incapable of carrying and spreading the dengue virus to replace the traditional disease-carrying mosquito.

There is no vaccine currently available to tackle the different varieties of dengue that can appear each year.

The last dengue epidemic in French Polynesia involved 30,000 cases.