The results of a trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes intended to reduce their ability to transmit dengue fever have been published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The mosquitoes, commonly known as “Friendly Aedes aegypti” mosquitoes in Brazil where the trial took place, were developed by a company called Oxitec.
The results of the trial showed that the numbers of the mosquito (Aedes aegypti) that spreads dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, and zika virus were reduced by more than 90 percent.
“The fact that the number of Aedes aegypti adults were reduced by 95% in the treatment area confirms that the Oxitec mosquito does what it is supposed to, and that is to get rid of mosquitoes,” said Dr. Andrew McKemey, head of field operations at Oxitec. “According to published mathematical models reviewed and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) working group on dengue, it would also reduce the number of biting mosquitoes below the disease transmission threshold. The next step is to scale up to even larger studies and run mosquito control projects on an operational basis.”
The study, which took place in the Itaberaba neighborhood of Juazeiro city in Bahia State, was led by the University of São Paulo and Moscamed, a company that specializes in environmentally friendly pest control. The treatment area included a population of approximately 1,800 people.
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