Thursday, September 29, 2005

Copepods to the Rescue!

While some Orthodox Jews in New York city have been taking pains to remove the copepods from their tap-water, in Southeast Asia they are deliberately introducing them to the water supply. It seems to be the same type of copepod we have here as well - the Mesocyclops copepod. Many have died from dengue fever, spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitos. But the Mesocyclops copepod feasts upon the larvae of this mosquito, thus wiping out the Aedes aegypti mosquito population.

From the AFP article:
Modern cross-border transport, poor sanitation and inadequate surveillance by public-health authorities have helped drive an epidemic of dengue fever in tropical countries.
Southeast Asia is bearing the brunt of the latest global push of the disease. The source is a daytime-biting mosquito, Aedes aegypti, which picks up the dengue virus from an infected human and then hands it to someone else with its next blood meal.

This means taking fundamental steps such as improving water provisions and sewerage for shanty towns, encouraging the public to empty water containers and stepping up surveillance so that outbreaks of the disease are spotted at the earliest stage.
But a novel strategy has been pioneered in parts of northern and central Vietnam.
A. aegypti has been wiped out in these communities by a campaign to "seed" water tanks with a microscopic crustacean called Mesocyclops copepod, which feasts on mosquito larvae, a study published last February said.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin