Question Number: 104
PDR Number: BI-70
Date Submitted: 21/11/2022
Department or Body: Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
1. CSIRO researchers are developing new and novel ways to understand mosquitoes and how they spread viruses by: Use of genomic sequencing to investigate population movements,
– Develop novel technologies to improve surveillance of mosquito-borne diseases,
– Application of traditional population control and suppression tools in novel ways,
– Developing new digital technologies to optimize and support large-scale field interventions,
– Exploring next-generation technologies to detect and reduce the impact of mosquito borne-diseases.
CSIRO’s mosquito-borne disease interventions provide next-generation tools that are efficient, environmentally friendly, culturally sensitive and scalable for controlling and eliminating disease in vulnerable communities. For example, CSIRO’s Vector Safe Communities program provides tools that are efficient, areawide solutions for controlling disease vectors in Australian communities and elsewhere. This program involves the sterile insect technique (SIT). The SIT applies mass releases of sterile male mosquitoes that locate and mate with wild-type females. These females lay unfertile eggs and over several months the mosquito population is suppressed to near zero levels thus significantly reducing the risk of disease spread to virtually eliminate the risk of disease transmission. The SIT method has been used successfully over many years in different insect systems in Australia and internationally. Working with national and international collaborators, as well as local communities, our researchers develop tailored and sustainable approaches to address this important public health issue.
Example projects include:
– In partnership with the University of California, CSIRO has engineered and tested the first breed of genetically modified mosquitoes resistant to spreading all four types of the dengue virus. There is ongoing research to reduce mosquitos ability to transmit dengue and other mosquito-borne viruses using cutting edge technology.
– The Aedes aegypti as an invasive, disease-carrying mosquito which is responsible for spreading dengue, yellow fever and Zika. The Wolbachia bacteria can successfully sterilise and eradicate this mosquito species.
In 2021, CSIRO researchers published a paper on a trial that involved releasing three million male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Northern Queensland, sterilised with Wolbachia, across three trial sites over a 20-week period during the summer of 2018. The sterile male insects search out and mate with wild females, preventing the production of offspring. Scientists returned the following year and found one of the trial sites, Mourilyan in Queensland, was almost devoid of mosquitoes. The trial was an international collaboration between CSIRO, University of Queensland (UQ), Verily Life Sciences, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and James Cook University (JCU). CSIRO is now collaborating with partners to trial the use of Wolbachia in overseas locations to stop transmission of dengue and other viruses. The World Health Organisation has adopted the risk assessment process developed by CSIRO to assess the use of Wolbachia technology to better manage disease transmission by mosquitoes.
– CSIRO is working with local governments across central Queensland to eliminate dengue mosquito vectors through managing rainwater tanks.
– In partnership with Griffith University, CSIRO is undertaking surveillance around Australian piggeries to inform risk and guide optimal management strategies for Japanese encephalitis mosquito vectors and vertebrate hosts.
– Experiments are underway to determine whether local Australian mosquitoes can transmit Japanese encephalitis virus. This information will help determine whether the virus will cause continued outbreaks in South-eastern Australia.
– The Foundation of the National Institutes of Health/Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has identified CSIRO as the preferred provider for undertaking risk assessments for the use of novel genetic mosquito control technologies to stop malaria transmission in Africa. Answers to questions 2-17 Research conclusions regarding the earth’s energy budget are continually updated as information becomes available. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment provides the most recent summary of these updates. Refer Chapter 7 of Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis | Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis (ipcc.ch) https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg1/chapter/chapter-7/for further information. For questions relating to fundamental physics, the relevant information is captured in the following scientific reference material: The IPCC ARG6 WG1 report Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis – Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis | Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis (ipcc.ch) The CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology State of the Climate 2022 report – https://www.csiro.au/en/news/News-releases/2022/State-of-the-Climate-Report-2022 The Academy of Science The Science of Climate Change: Questions and Answers report from 2015 – 2015 – https://www.science.org.au/education/immunisation-climate-changegeneticmodification/science-climate-change Mathez, E.A., & Smerdon, J.E. (2018). Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future. (2nd Ed.). Columbia University Press: New York – http://cup.columbia.edu/book/climate-change/9780231172837 Krauss, L.M. (2021). The Physics of Climate Change. Post Hill Press: New York – https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Physics-of-Climate-Change/LawrenceMKrauss/9781642938166
Relevant links to calculators:
– Evaluate the Planck Function: https://ncc.nesdis.noaa.gov/data/planck.html
– Wiens Law (+ many others): https://www.omnicalculator.com/physics/wiens-law
– Integrals of Plancks function: https://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody_calculator/blackbody.php (background info at: https://www.spectralcalc.com/blackbody/blackbody.html)
Please also refer to these previous responses which address similar themes and include relevant references: AI-92 2019-2020 Additional Estimates AI-57 2020-2021 Additional Estimates BI-34 2020-2021 Budget Estimates BI-7 2021-2022 Budget Estimates SI-73 2021-2022 Supplementary Estimates BI-30 2022-2023 Budget Estimates