07 July 2015

Mosquitoes-"pests" have confirmed their effectiveness

Genetically modified mosquitoes have been successfully tested

Mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti species have been released into nature, which are responsible for the spread of yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya and zika. Certain changes have been made to the mosquito genome. According to the data obtained, the number of the mosquito population decreased by 95% as a result (Entomology Today, Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Reduce Dengue Transmitters by 95 Percent).

A snapshot from the website of Oxitec VM.Aedes aegypti males, whose genome was worked on by Oxitec specialists, have a gene that causes early death of offspring.

As a result, these mosquitoes mate with females, but their larvae die before they have time to grow to the stage of an adult mosquito, when the insect becomes a potential vector of diseases.

Currently, several genetic methods of reducing the number of Aedes aegypti are being developed in the world. Along with the introduction of the gene for early death of offspring, it is also proposed to influence the genome in order to cause the birth of exclusively male mosquitoes or to reduce the reproductive function of females by manipulating micro-RNA. WHO experts believe that controlling the number of mosquitoes is currently the most effective method of combating dengue and chikungunya diseases.

The test results are published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (Carvalho et al., Suppression of a Field Population of Aedes aegypti in Brazil by Sustained Release of Transgenic Male Mosquitoes).

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