Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has developed
a strain of the Aedes aegypti mosquito into which Wolbachia, a naturally
occurring bacteria, is introduced.
The mosquito variant has been named the
Puducherry strain. It was developed by ICMR in collaboration with World
Mosquito Program of Monash University, Australia.
Wolbachia bacteria is introduced into male and
female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the laboratory and released into the wild. Once
Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes are released, they breed with wild mosquitoes.
Over time, the majority of mosquitoes carry
Wolbachia. These mosquitoes have a reduced ability to transmit viruses to
people. Thus, it reduces the risk of Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are the primary vector that
transmit the Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses.