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Flightless mosquitoes developed to help control dengue fever
Date:2/22/2010

ality."

Using concepts developed by Oxitec's Luke Alphey, the study's senior author, researchers made a genetic alteration in the mosquitoes that disrupts wing muscle development in female offspring, rendering them incapable of flight. Males' ability to fly is unaffected, and they show no ill effects from carrying the gene.

"The technology is completely species-specific, as the released males will mate only with females of the same species," Alphey said. "It's far more targeted and environmentally friendly than approaches dependent upon the use of chemical spray insecticides, which leave toxic residue."

"Another attractive feature of this method is that it's egalitarian: All people in the treated areas are equally protected, regardless of their wealth, power or education," he added.

James and Alphey have pioneered the creation of genetically altered mosquitoes to limit transmission of vector-borne illnesses. While their current work is focused on the dengue fever vector, they noted that this approach could be adapted to other mosquito species that spread such diseases as malaria and West Nile fever.


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Contact: Tom Vasich
tmvasich@uci.edu
949-824-6455
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

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