Field trial in Brazilian city with GM mosquitoes reduces dengue cases by 91%

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Male Aedes albopictus mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria are seen before released to the wild, in Guangzhou, Guangdong province, China, July 22, 2015. A lab in Guangzhou produces about 500,000 to 1,000,000 infected male Aedes albopictus mosquitoes with this bacteria every week. They are expected to reduce the number of mosquitos in the experimental area by killing their offspring after mating with wild female mosquitoes. Guangdong reported more than 45,189 cases of people with dengue, six dead, in 2014, according to local media. Picture taken July 22, 2015. REUTERS/Ma Qiang/Southern Metropolis Daily CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA. - RTX1MJRR

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[A] technique that modifies insects in order to control their populations has been proven effective. RIDL, [or] Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal, has been…used in field trials on mosquitoes in order to reduce cases of dengue.

Scientists apply the RIDL technique to male insects in the lab, which…makes them die young unless they receive a substance called tetracycline…Next, they release millions of these male insects into the wild and allow them to mate with females. [T]he males die soon after mating…[and] [t]heir offspring, which also need tetracycline to live, will die before reaching adulthood[.]

Using this technique, scientists have reduced the cases of dengue…by 91% in a neighborhood…[in] Piracicaba[.] There were only 12 cases of dengue in the area, versus 133 cases the previous year. Surrounding areas also saw a reduction of dengue cases by 52%.

This is good news not only for potential victims of dengue, but also for people who may be susceptible to Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever because the mosquito that transmits dengue…also transmits these other diseases.

Read full, original post: Cases of Dengue Drop 91 Percent Due to Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

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