Monash Eliminate Dengue research project
Researchers are looking to release mosquitoes with naturally occurring bacteria called Wolbachia to stop the spread of dengue fever.
The Eliminate Dengue research project, led by Professor Scott O’Neill from Monash University, hopes to begin a citywide trial of the Wolbachia dengue control method in Townsville by the end of the year.
Dengue fever is ranked by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in the world.
The proposed trial in Townsville follows three years of encouraging small-scale trials in Cairns, and would involve releasing mosquitoes with Wolbachia to reduce the ability of mosquitoes to pass dengue between people. These mosquitoes then breed with the local wild mosquitoes and pass Wolbachia to their offspring. Over time it is hoped all the mosquitoes that transmit dengue will have the bacteria, and as a result reduce local dengue transmission.
Professor O’Neill, Dean of the Monash Faculty of Science, said they had already received great support from the Townsville community.
“This will be the first-large scale trial of our method and we are committed to being open and responsive with the Townsville community about our research. The community reference group will help us ensure we are meeting this commitment,” Professor O’Neill said.
The project team is meeting with the 12-member Townsville Community Reference group today for the first time to discuss the proposed trial.
Monash University School of Biological Sciences
Biological sciences is the broad term given to all the areas of study that have biology as their base subject. Biology is the study of life processes and living organisms. It is concerned with microbes, plants and animals, and involves study of their structure, function, evolution, development and ecology.
The scale of study ranges from genetics, the study of genes and the ways they control the development of plants and animals, including humans, to ecology, an area of biology dealing with the relationships of organisms to the environment and biosphere.
The Monash School of Biological Sciences is playing a lead role in this century of biology. Monash University’s work in vector-borne disease means illnesses like Dengue Fever may soon be a thing of the past. World-class research in ecology and genomics is helping to solve environmental challenges such as those associated with climate change, biological invasions, and large-scale changes to the environment, from arid areas to urban settings.
The School of Biological Sciences offers the following areas of study:
- Ecology and Conservation Biology
- Genetics & Molecular Biology
- Marine and Freshwater Biology
- Plant Sciences (botany)