Cabinet approval has been granted for the pilot project funded by Australian government to use the ‘Wolbachia’ bacteria to control dengue infection.
The Monash University of Australia will provide technical assistance to carry out a field study in selected areas in Sri Lanka.
Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brazil and Colombia have successfully used Wolbachia-infected Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes to control dengue.
The Wolbachia bacteria naturally live in bodies of over 60 insects including mosquitoes.
When dengue mosquitoes are infected with the Wolbachia bacteria, it can prevent dengue virus from reaching the level of infection in the body of mosquitoes.
A total of 177,000 dengue patients and around 400 dengue deaths were reported during this year which is the highest recorded.