28 Dec 2016

New Caledonia will fight disease-carrying mosquitoes with a bacteria

11:45 am on 28 December 2016

New Caledonia's capital plans to introduce a bacteria in a novel approach to combat mosquito-borne diseases.

The programme has been developed with Australia's Monash University and entails releasing mosquitoes with the Wolbachia bacteria.

A statement issued by the authorities of Noumea says once the mosquitoes carry this bacteria they can no longer pass on dengue, chikungunya and Zika.

It says gradually the bacteria will spread to all the disease-carrying mosquitoes, hoping to eliminate the problem within about four years.

The method has reportedly been tested in five countries, with transmission rates plummeting.