Bacteria Immunizes Insects


A certain type of bacteria, Wolbachia, protects flies from disease-causing pathogens. Researchers from the University of Queensland first injected a fatal virus to Wolbachia -infected vinegar flies. The bacterial infection was expected to make the fly more susceptible to other pathogens, but it protected the flies instead. Wolbachia is common in insects. The researchers said studying the mechanism of how the bacteria protects the insects could help devise control strategies for insect transmitted diseases.


Down To Earth, December 2008