Navigation Links
Expert Meeting Discusses Testing of Oxitec Transgenic Mosquitoes in Panama

PANAMA CITY, Panama, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

International scientific and government experts held a forum on 16 May 2012 to discuss the potential use of Oxitec's genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes as a tool to combat Dengue Fever in Panama.

The independent forum was co-organised by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), The Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies and the University of Panama. This brought together national and regional experts from these institutes as well as the Pan American Health Organisation, Panama's Ministry of Health and Oxitec. It was held in order to bring all parties together and address issues raised by pressure groups in a closed meeting in March.  These groups were invited to participate in the Smithsonian forum but did not attend.

The Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies (GMI) is a medical research institution that, for more than 80 years, has been dedicated to investigating diseases in the tropics and preventive medicine. The Institute is named after Dr. William Crawford Gorgas, who is credited with eradicating yellow fever in Panama, a disease spread by the same mosquito, Aedes aegypti, that now spreads Dengue Fever.  As a pioneer in disease prevention GMI is seeking to evaluate Oxitec's approach to combat the dengue mosquito in Panama. The Gorgas initiative was publicised last year in an open forum attended by the Health Minister Dr. Franklin Vergara. The Smithsonian conference was the latest in a series of events, which has also included TV and newspaper coverage and community meetings, designed to engage and inform the public, media and officials in Panama about Oxitec's solution.

At the forum Dr Luke Alphey, Oxitec's Chief Scientific Officer, explained how Oxitec's genetically modified Dengue mosquito can offer an effective, sustainable approach to controlling the Dengue mosquito in Panama. Dr Alphey said:

"We are very grateful to the Smithsonian for taking the initiative and hosting this meeting. Dengue fever is a serious problem in Panama and the Oxitec 'birth control for insects' approach offers a potential solution. As with any new technology, there are important questions to be discussed, and we are always happy to listen and respond to those questions. Today's meeting, together with the number of local community meetings that we have participated in, has provided a useful forum for us to do just that."

Dengue Fever is a growing global health challenge, infecting between 50-100 million people every year. The incidence and severity of this disease has increased steadily in the Americas and the Caribbean during recent years. During 2011, Panama registered 3,882 Dengue cases which resulted in 16 deaths and large expenses for the public health sector.

Néstor Sosa, Director of the Gorgas Commemorative Institute for Health Studies (GCIHS), said:

"Available information suggests that the Oxitec approach is an effective and safe tool for mosquito control. Therefore the GCIHS, in collaboration with the British company Oxitec Ltd, have initiated the process required to study the genetically modified mosquitoes in Panama."

Notes to editors:

A joint release from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, The Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies and the University of Panama release

About Oxitec (

Oxitec is developing and commercialising an effective and environment-friendly proprietary technology for the control of significant insect pests. Oxitec's technology has the potential to make a major contribution to both global health and agriculture by combating insects responsible for serious diseases such as Dengue Fever as well as agricultural damage. The proprietary technology builds on inventions from the University of Oxford and employs genetics and molecular biology to enhance the existing radiation based Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), and to extend the control method to a broader range of insect pests.

About Dengue

Dengue is the most common mosquito-borne viral disease of humans that in recent years has become a major international public health concern. Globally, 2.5 billion people live in areas where Dengue viruses can be transmitted. The geographical spread of the mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, has led to the global resurgence of epidemic Dengue Fever in the past 25 years and an increase in the more severe forms of the disease such as Dengue haemorrhagic fever and Dengue shock syndrome. There is neither medication nor vaccine currently available for Dengue.

Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related biology technology :

1. Experts Strengthen Albright Stonebridge Groups Global Reach
2. Fusion presents low proliferation risk, experts conclude
3. Social networking shortcut to finding medical experts
4. Medical Experts Who Participated in CSL Behrings Key Issues Dialogue Prefer Albumin for Fluid Management
5. BioLife Solutions Adds Clinical and Commercialization Experts to Scientific Advisory Board
6. PAREXEL Appoints Former Senior FDA Official David Elder to Global Team of Strategic Compliance Experts
7. Use Biomarkers in Alzheimers Disease Clinical Trials, Says Expert Group
8. Experts Launch the Alliance for Fertility Preservation at the International Society for Fertility Preservations 2nd World Congress
9. Hybrid Fuels, Inc. Appoints Industry Expert as New CEO
10. Drexel expert: Efficiency metrics for energy storage devices need standardization
11. PRA Expert to Present at Pharmacovigilance Conference
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... today announced tighter software integration with MarkLogic, the Enterprise NoSQL database platform ... information to drive change. , Smartlogic’s Content Intelligence capabilities provide a robust ...
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... 28, 2015 , ... • Jeon Jin Bio Corp, a Korean Biotech venture ... , Bird Free, an oil-based, gel formula ... modalities including visual, smell, taste and touch, enabling safe, effective avian control without toxic ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... Pittcon is pleased to announce ... offered in symposia, oral sessions, workshops, awards, and posters. The core of ... applications such as, but not limited to, biotechnology, biomedical, drug discovery, environmental, food ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... Accutest Research Laboratories, a leading ... Organization (CRO), has formed a strategic ... - Temple Health for joint work ... (Photo: ) , --> ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:11/2/2015)... , Nov. 2, 2015  SRI International has been ... provide preclinical development services to the National Cancer Institute ... will provide scientific expertise, modern testing and support facilities, ... preclinical pharmacology and toxicology studies to evaluate potential cancer ... The PREVENT Cancer Drug Development Program is an ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015 Daon, a ... that it has released a new version of its ... in North America have already ... v4.0 also includes a FIDO UAF certified server ... already preparing to activate FIDO features. These customers include ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... Connecticut , October 29, 2015 ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing ... smart wallet announces that StackCommerce, a leading marketplace ... be featuring the Wocket® smart wallet on StackSocial ... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), a biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):