United States government approves 'killer' mosquitoes to fight disease

United States government approves 'killer' mosquitoes to fight disease

United States government approves 'killer' mosquitoes to fight disease

Biotechnology start-up MosquitoMate received approval from the Environmental Protection Agency to release the the insects in 20 states. This will reduce the amount of biting, disease-carrying lady mosquitoes.

While Asian tiger mosquitos are not as efficient as the Aedes aegypti at spreading Zika and dengue viruses, Brackney said they "appear to be much more efficient vectors than we previously thought".

The company breeds and raises mosquitoes infected with the bacteria in their lab. Mechanically, the scientists separate the pupae of mosquitoes-the males and larval females to create "ZAP-males" contaminated with the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis. Suppressing the mosquito population of an entire city would likely require the weekly production of millions of these mosquitoes.

Most of the disease-carrying mosquitoes in the country are of a species called Asian tiger mosquitoes.

Never reported it officially, but MosquitoMate already preparing for the first releases.

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The key to wiping out mosquitoes might just be more mosquitoes.

"It's important that we try to use every method that we can get to get control of this mosquito", said Steve Mulligan, manager of Freno's Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District, told the Bee.

The benefits are that this is a non-chemical approach and that other insects and mosquitoes are not harmed.

After noting that earlier risk assessments of the Asian tiger mosquito were based on laboratory tests in which mosquitoes were given a single sample of blood containing one of the viruses, researchers at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and the Yale School of Public Health took a second look. Males don't bite, so releasing them should not add extra vexation. But it's actually the culmination of a 20-year scientific discovery with the objective of eliminating the deadliest vector-borne diseases, including dengue fever and the Zika virus.

"It's ecologically sounder", Phil Lounibos, a professor at the Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory at the University of Florida, told the Herald previous year. Quartz reports that the approved states are those with weather similar to that of Kentucky, New York, and California, where MosquitoMate tested the bugs' effectiveness.

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