Bacteria's genes unlock clues to help fight Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases

A Vanderbilt team has taken the next step forward in using a little known bacteria to stop the spread of deadly mosquito-borne viruses, such as Zika and dengue. Wolbachia are bacteria that occur widely in insects and, once they do, they inhibit pathogenic viruses that the insects carry. The problem with using Wolbachia broadly to protect humans is that the bacteria does not normally occur in mosquitoes that transmit Zika and dengue, and success relies on the bacteria's cunning ability to spread themselves into mosquito populations quickly.

Provided by Vanderbilt University

Runtime: 0:59

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