Prelims 2023

Q17. “Wolbachia method’ is sometimes talked about with reference to which one of the following?

a. Controlling the viral diseases spread by mosquitoes
b. Converting crop residues into packing material
c. Producing biodegradable plastics
d. Producing biochar from thermo-chemical conversion of biomass

Question from UPSC Prelims 2023 GS Paper

Explanation : 

a. Controlling the viral diseases spread by mosquitoes

Wolbachia Method: Natural Solution to Mosquito-Borne Viral Diseases

The Wolbachia method refers to the innovative use of Wolbachia bacteria to control the spread of viral diseases transmitted by mosquitoes. These diseases include dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever. Wolbachia is a naturally occurring bacterium found in a high percentage of insect species, particularly in some mosquito species.

How Does the Wolbachia Method Work?

When introduced into mosquito populations, Wolbachia has a significant impact on reducing the mosquitoes’ ability to transmit viruses to humans. This reduction in transmission risk is achieved through two main mechanisms:

  • Shortening the mosquito’s lifespan, thereby reducing the likelihood of transmitting the virus.
  • Directly inhibiting the replication of the virus within the mosquito itself.

By releasing mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia into the environment, researchers aim to create a sustainable and effective method to reduce the transmission of these dangerous mosquito-borne diseases.

More Question:
UPSC Factory App
Get everything you need for upsc preparation with just one click! Install now!