WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Study: Pest control method for dengue mosquitoes 96 percent effective

Oxitec's innovate approach to pest control was proven 96 percent effective against dengue mosquitoes in Mandacaru, Bahia State Brazil in a recent study by Moscamed.

Scientists from Oxitec partnered with Moscamed and the University of Sao Paulo to carry out field studies of Oxitec's sterile genetically engineered OX513A mosquitoes against dengue mosquitoes. In 6 months a 96 percent reduction in the wild mosquito population was seen and the decrease was sustained for an additional 7 months thereafter.

"Today's result shows that sustained releases of our OX513A mosquitos can be a highly effective tool in reducing populations of the dengue mosquito" Oxitec's Dr. Luke Alphey said. "In this trial we've seen that when releases are carried out in a relatively isolated area, our approach results in even greater population reduction than that which we have reported previously. This also indicates that in the right conditions, local elimination of a target pest species should be possible."

A similar trial in Itaberaba resulted in an 80 percent reduction in the mosquito population; a comparable result was also seen in the Cayman Islands in 2011. It is estimated Mandacaru achieved greatest reduction because it is an isolated area and had less wild mosquito immigration from untreated areas. 3,000 people were protected in Mandacaru during the study.

"Brazil has one of the highest incidences of dengue fever in the world" Moscamed Director Dr. Aldo Malavasi said. "We are pioneering the development of this innovative approach because we desperately need new weapons to target the dengue mosquito, which is growing in number despite conventional efforts to control it. It's tremendously exciting to see that this approach may offer real hope to them and to others living in the shadow of this disease."