Modified mosquitoes take the sting out of dengue fever in Townsville

It's been hailed as a world-first, with other trials underway

In a world-first, Australian researchers have eliminated dengue fever outbreaks in the north Queensland city of Townsville through the large-scale deployment of specially modified mosquitoes.

aedes aegypti mosquito

About four million Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with a strain of Wolbachia bacteria, which is found naturally in up to 60% of insect species and renders them incapable of transmitting viruses, were released in areas of the city where breeding was most likely to occur.

The Wolbachia deployment, across 66km2, began in October 2014 and