There are scientists working in Australia to stop the spread of dengue fever around the world over the last 50 years. He feeds on his blood and continues to be bitten by thousands of mosquitoes. And he reports the harsh research progress on his Twitter. “The US Sun” and “ScienceAlert” reported.
Perran Stott-Ross, a postdoctoral fellow for mosquitoes, pests and beneficial insects at the University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, is continuing his research to end the dengue outbreak.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that causes symptoms such as high fever, body tremors, intense headaches and nausea. Infections have continued for more than 50 years, with 4.2 million confirmed infections in 2019, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Research requires the breeding of large numbers of mosquitoes, which in turn requires food. Peran lets mosquitoes suck their own blood and provide it as food.
It is known that the bacterium “Wolbachia”, which is harmless to humans, is effective in reducing the risk of dengue infection, and measures are taken to prevent infection with dengue fever by naturally releasing mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia. That’s it.
However, there is a problem that Wolbachia does not occur naturally among mosquitoes, and it is very difficult to generate a large number of mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia. Regarding the Wolbachia breeding work, Mr. Peran said, “Arrange mosquito eggs on a glass slide and use a microscope to pierce each egg with a fine needle to remove the cells that carry Wolbachia. And they do not have Wolbachia. We will move it to another egg. Hopefully, that egg will survive and will continue to hold Wolbachia for the next generation. ”
It turns out to be a daunting task. This work needs to be done on hundreds of eggs a day.
“These hundreds and thousands of eggs are hatched in the lab, raised and released naturally,” Peran explains, and he continues this work every day for a long time to produce a stable number of mosquitoes. It is said that it is observing.
In the photo of his arm covered with a large number of mosquitoes, there are many areas where he is stabbed and swollen red, and it becomes itchy just by looking at it. It is said that there are 5,000 places to be stabbed in a day. “I’m sucked by mosquitoes on 16ml of blood a day. It’s terribly itchy. After I put my arm out of the box containing mosquitoes, I endured the urge to scratch. I’m doing it. ”
Perran Ross puts his arm in a box with mosquitoes and donates blood (The image is a screenshot of “Here’s a photo inside the cage with my arm going through a mesh stocking.” Dated May 8, 2020)
In Australia, a project to release mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia started in 2011, and in North Queensland, Queensland, the infection of dengue fever became zero for the first time in 100 years. A similar project is underway in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, which has so far succeeded in reducing dengue infection by 40-60%.
“Future plans will require huge costs and the cooperation of many people, but I think they can be achieved,” Peran said positively.