Researchers made this disease-carrying mosquito sterile

Bacteria has successfully sterilised an invasive species of mosquito, stopping it from passing on diseases like dengue, yellow fever and Zika, researchers have shown.

The breakthrough relates to the invasive, disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito and has the potential to eradicate the insect worldwide.

The landmark trial involved releasing three million male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Northern Queensland in 2018.

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The invasive, disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito which is responsible for spreading dengue, yellow fever and Zika

They were sterilised with bacteria called Wolbachia and were monitored over a 20-week period that summer.

The bacteria essentially stopped male mosquitoes from being able to reproduce with wild females, and therefore no offspring were produced.

The trial was an international collaboration between Australia's national science agency CSIRO, University of Queensland (UQ), Verily Life Sciences, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and James Cook University (JCU).

CSIRO scientist and UQ Associate Professor, Nigel Beebe, said the trial demonstrates this technique is robust and capable of effectively suppressing mosquito populations.

"During the trial, we saw over 80 per cent of the mosquito population suppressed across our three trial sites," Associate Professor Beebe said.

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The breakthrough could support the suppression and potential eradication of Aedes aegypti mosquito worldwide.

JCU Adjunct Professor Scott Ritchie said the Wolbachia trial was a successful international collaboration that saw contemporary science working together with cutting-edge technology.

"It was a hugely successful project. We reared the three million male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes needed for the trial in the insectary at James Cook University in Cairns," Professor Ritchie said.

Verily Product Manager, Nigel Snoad, said community engagement was also essential to the success of the project.

"It was a huge achievement by the joint team to set up and operate the mosquito rearing, sorting and release systems, and develop strong community engagement and support," Mr Snoad said.

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