Chinese researchers are reportedly working on a way to disperse vaccines by mosquitoes. Although this method was tested on animals, the experiment raises concerns about humans being exposed to the vaccines.
According to a report by the SCMP, a Chinese Academy of Sciences study revealed that they intend to release genetically modified mosquitoes in the wild to trigger an immunological response.
The study focused on the Zika virus, which caused a global health scare in 2010 before a new organism emerged in Wuhan, China.
The main vector of the Zika virus is the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. It breeds in wetlands all across the world, including the US. During the outbreak in Brazil, expectant mothers were worried that the illness could cause miscarriages or birth defects.
Over the years, various methods have been proposed to control the populations of mosquitoes that can carry the Zika virus. These include the use of genetically modified mosquitoes.
In a study conducted in China, the researchers combined the Zika virus with a virus known as the Chaoyang virus. This hybrid virus tricks the immune systems of animals into thinking it has contracted Zika.
According to the study, the researchers fed the mosquitoes blood samples that contained the virus and introduced it to mice. The animals developed helpful antibodies that could keep them alive even after they were exposed to a lethal amount of the Zika virus.
The SCMP reported that the animals were exposed to multiple types of mosquitoes in order to mimic natural settings. This exposure was similar to what people would experience if they spent 30 minutes playing tennis.
The researchers stated that they planned to use the injection method to protect various animals, such as the ruffled grouse, from West Nile virus. They also hope to prevent zoonotic illnesses from infecting humans.
In order to protect wild animals from infecting humans, the researchers injected the vaccines into the mosquitoes. Chinese officials have claimed that the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak was triggered by the production of the virus by the US Army at a facility in Maryland.
The release of genetically modified mosquitoes by Chinese scientists into the wild would be considered controversial in both China and the rest of the world.
In China, the public's distrust of the pharmaceutical industry was one of the main factors that prevented many people from accepting vaccinations.
After testing the efficacy of the vaccines on mice, the researchers from Japan stated that they were satisfied with the results. Despite the success of the experiment, experts were still hesitant to use the method on humans due to safety concerns.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on The Bearded Patriot.