Dr Leon Hugo is a medical entomologist at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute researching entomological factors affecting mosquito-borne disease epidemiology and developing new mosquito-borne disease control strategies and diagnostics. 

He researches the interactions between mosquitoes and arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). The susceptibility of mosquitoes to arbovirus infection and the efficiency that mosquitoes transmit these viruses helps determine the epidemiology of arboviral diseases including dengue, Zika and chikungunya. He uses unique biosecurity level 2 and 3 insectaries in QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute to investigate associations between mosquitoes and arboviruses, including emerging arbovirus strains. 

Leon researches new strategies for mosquito-borne disease control, including the use of defective interfering particles of dengue; benign byproducts of dengue virus infection that interfere with virus replication and Wolbachia bacterial infections of mosquitoes that render mosquitoes resistant to arbovirus infection.  He collaborates on the development of other promising new strategies, including attenuated arbovirus vaccines, insect-specific viruses and the use of endectocides, compounds administered to animals to control internal/external parasites, as a novel method of human disease control. He has developed novel diagnostics for mosquito research and currently collaborates on the development of diagnostic assays for the detection of arboviruses and Plasmodium parasites. 

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