$7 million awarded to Eliminate Dengue Program to combat mosquito-borne viruses

Researcher demonstrates that Wolbachia cannot be passed to people
from mosquitoes when they bite

The Eliminate Dengue Program’s game-changing work into reducing the global burden of mosquito-borne viruses has been has received a $7 million boost from the Australian National Health and  Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Led by Monash researchers, including program director Professor Scott O’Neill, the program has developed a unique defence against mosquito-borne viruses. Eliminate Dengue uses naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria to reduce transmission of harmful viruses including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. The non-profit research collaboration is currently applying its technology in six countries, with plans to significantly expand its global efforts in the coming years.

Funding from NHMRC will support Eliminate Dengue’s ongoing work to protect areas of Northern Queensland from outbreaks of dengue and Zika viruses, whilst simultaneously developing its technology for large scale use overseas. With encouraging results already being reported in Australia, the team  is  now  working  with  governments  and  communities in other countries, where millions of people live in areas at risk of dengue.

“We are extremely grateful to the National Health and Medical Research Council for supporting our ongoing research,” Professor O’Neill said.

“This research has its roots in Australia, and it is collaborations like these that will allow us to achieve global impact in the coming years, and reduce the threat of mosquito-borne disease.”

For more information about the Eliminate Dengue Program and the use of Wolbachia, please visit www.eliminatedengue.com.