Dengue Challenges

Dengue Challenges
22 Jan 2017

There is no specific treatment for dengue and a safe and highly effective tetravalent vaccine is still in development. As Aedes mosquito is a day-biting mosquito, bed nets are also not very effective against Aedes-borne diseases like dengue, chikungunya or zika.

The current strategy is to control the mosquito vectors, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus using conventional methods such as fogging with insecticides and breeding site reduction. However, these methods cannot prevent dengue outbreaks by themselves as seen from examples around the world, (Curtis 2006). An important reason for this is the low vector threshold for dengue transmission (Focks et al. 2000). As low as 2-3 adult female mosquitoes emerging every day in a locality of 100 people is sufficient to start an outbreak (Focks et al. 2000).

Because of this, public commitment and involvement is also of paramount importance and this has been adapted to continue public education and ‘COMmunication for Behavioural Impact’ (COMBI) for sustained breeding site reduction involving the public. Legally-enforced larval control, whether by breeding site elimination or larviciding, is neither practical for a large and diverse country like Malaysia, nor has it stopped the resurgence of dengue in other countries (Curtis 2006). Because of these limitations, there is thus an urgent need to research other innovative control methods, such as use of Wolbachia.

Targeted Larviciding activity using microbial agent Bacillus thuringiensis (Bti)