Taman Sri Nibong RA Log

November 8, 2013

New Mutant Dengue Virus found in Malaysia

Filed under: from the editor — mollyosc @ 2:36 pm

The Star

Published: Thursday November 7, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM

Updated: Thursday November 7, 2013 MYT 9:18:14 AM


Parliament: Climate change blamed for rise in dengue cases



CLIMATE change which has brought more rainfall in Malaysia has been blamed for the spike in dengue cases recently, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.

He added that the number of dengue fever cases shot up by 10,000 cases from 18,286 cases last year to 29,754 as of last Saturday.

“The other reason is the ability of the dengue virus to mutate. Many victims bitten by the aedes mosquitoes had immunity from one strain, but they were susceptible to mutated viruses,” he said during Question Time.

Dr Subramaniam said Malaysians know that dengue fever spreads through breeding in stagnant water.

“However, the problem is that people’s attitude generally do not change when it involves cleaning up their areas of breeding grounds,” he added.

Sim Tong Him (DAP-Kota Melaka) asked him on the status of the genetically-modified aedes mosquito project.

The minister replied that there were no plans to release the genetically-modified mosquitoes as yet.

“The cost for this project between 2006 and 2012 came to RM3.14mil,” he added.

He added that the project would next involve the effort to cut down dengue cases in four designated zones.

“The costs of the new project would be about RM100mil,” he added.

In 2011, it was reported that the ministry had held talks with Bentong residents in December 2010 over the release of genetically-modified (GM) mosquitoes.

The trial programme of the release of the first male transgenic mosquitoes in Asia, was conducted from Dec 21, 2010 to Jan 5, 2011, in an uninhabited forested area in the district.

It was also reported on Tuesday that mosquitos in Vietnam have been intentionally infected with the Wolbachia bacteria, which blocks the insects from getting dengue and speading it to humans.

Wolbachia is commonly found in many insects.

In 2011, scientists in Brazil launched an experiment to reduce the dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito by releasing millions of GM insects into the wild.

They said that the results have been found to be positive.





First New Dengue Virus Type in 50 Years


For the first time in half a century, a new serotype of dengue has been discovered. The strain, found in Malaysia, is phylogenetically distinct from the existing four serotypes. The discovery will complicate existing vaccine efforts, which are already quite complex – prior to this discovery, dengue possessed four distinct serotypes. To date, this newest serotype has only been identified in one outbreak.

Science – “Scientists have discovered a new type of the virus that causes a centuries-old pestilence, dengue. The surprising find, announced at a major dengue conference here today, is bound to complicate efforts to develop a vaccine against a tropical disease that is becoming a more pervasive global menace. But it could shed light on where the pathogen came from and whether it is evolving into a greater threat. The finding “may change the way we think about dengue virus evolution and emergence,” says Duane Gubler, a dengue expert at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore.”

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