A Method to Detect Zika-Blocking Bacteria

A growing body of research suggests infections with the Wolbachia bacterium can prevent mosquitoes from transmitting Zika and other viruses. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and colleagues reported today (July 1) in Scientific Reports that Wolbachia can reduce the likelihood that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes will contract Zika from infected mice. And a team from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues yesterday (June 30) reported a method for detecting the bacterium’s presence in mosquitoes using near-infrared spectroscopy, in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

“Our findings are complementary to results described earlier in the month in Cell Host & Microbe by our colleagues with [Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation], which is really exciting and really promising,” Matthew Aliota of University of Wisconsin–Madison, coauthor of the Scientific Reports study, said in a statement, referring to a study published in May.

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