There is currently no known vaccine or cure for dengue fever
Dengue is a human virus transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
Our research has shown that Wolbachia blocks dengue transmission
Dengue fever is ranked by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in the world - and the most rapidly spreading - with a 30-fold increase in global incidence over the past 50 years.
Over 2.5 billion people, more than 30% of the world’s population, in over 100 countries are at risk of infection; the most significant epidemics recently occurring in Southeast Asia, the Americas and the Western Pacific. Each year an estimated 390 million dengue infections occur with 500,000 of these developing into dengue haemorrhagic fever, a more severe form of the disease, which results in up to 25,000 deaths annually worldwide.
A human virus
Dengue is a human virus transmitted primarily by the mosquito Aedes aegypti that is commonly found around homes and workplaces. The transmission cycle for dengue is human - mosquito – human. After biting a dengue-infected person it then takes about 12 days for the mosquito to be capable of transmitting the virus to another person. During this time the virus replicates inside the mosquito body, spreading until it reaches the mosquito’s salivary glands. The virus is then injected through the saliva into a human when the mosquito takes a blood meal (bite). Given that most mosquitoes live less than 30 days, only relatively old mosquitoes (those at least 12 days old) can transmit dengue virus to humans.
Dengue viruses can be grouped into four virus serotypes all of which can cause dengue fever and dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF), a more severe and potentially fatal form of the disease. Prior infection with one dengue serotype is believed to predispose people to DHF in subsequent infections with other serotypes.