Navigation Links
Oxitec Scientists Clip Wings of the Asian Tiger Mosquito
Date:7/18/2012

OXFORD, England, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Oxitec scientists have reported the creation of a new flightless strain of the Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus. The breakthrough, reported in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, could help stop the spread of this dangerous and invasive pest.

The Asian tiger mosquito is a serious nuisance biter, but is also capable of transmitting dengue fever, Chikungunya, West Nile Virus and a host of other diseases. In the last few decades it has spread throughout the world and is now established in many regions, including Europe and the US, where it is becoming both an extremely bothersome pest and an increasing health concern.

Dr. Randy Gaugler, Director of the Center for Vector Biology at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, USA explains the threat; 'The Asian tiger mosquito is an extremely aggressive biter prominent in the global surge in new and emerging vector-borne diseases.  The public health threat from this mosquito, particularly with regard to transmission of dengue and chikungunya, is of concern to health professionals because there are no vaccines or chemo-prophylaxis to treat infection.  Suppressing the mosquitoes that transmit the viruses is the only available approach.  Conventional control strategies against this species have been moderately effective at best.  A new paradigm is needed.'

The Asian tiger mosquito is an extremely difficult pest to control: conventional methods rely on chemical pesticides which not only harm other insects but are increasingly ineffective as mosquitoes develop resistance.

Now, an Oxitec team led by Dr Geneviève Labbé has pioneered a new approach. The team has genetically modified the mosquitoes with a 'flightless' gene so that the females are unable to fly. Oxitec releases male mosquitoes carrying the flightless gene: male mosquitoes can't bite or spread diseases, and when Oxitec males mate with wild females, their flightless daughters are unable to feed or reproduce, and soon die. Successive releases will lead to a rapid reduction in the overall population of these mosquitoes in an area.

Commenting on the breakthrough, Oxitec Chief Scientific Officer Dr Luke Alphey said:

"We believe this is an intelligent response to this invasive pest. These mosquitoes and their breeding sites are hard for humans to find, which limits the effectiveness of conventional control methods. So instead we are harnessing the natural drive of a male mosquito to seek out a female. It's not only an effective strategy but an environmentally sound one too: the mosquitoes only mate with their own species so, in contrast to pesticides, non-target insects are not harmed. Removing this mosquito would cause minimal environmental disruption, not least because it is a very recent invasive species in most areas.

The flightless mosquito strain is an adaptation of Oxitec's genetically 'sterile' mosquitoes, which have already been successfully demonstrated in Grand Cayman and Brazil, reducing target populations of the dengue mosquito, Aedes aegypti.

The PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases publication can be found at:

http://www.plosntds.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pntd.0001724

About Oxitec (http://www.oxitec.com)

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 for 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.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Oxitec (www.oxitec.com)
Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. AstraZeneca and Leading Academic Scientists to Collaborate on Alzheimers Disease Research
2. Early Birds Save Up to $600 on Asian Biotech and Pharmaceutical Conferences
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016  The National Pharmaceutical Council (NPC) ... health policy research organization as its newest member.  ... senior vice president and chief scientific officer, Mallinckrodt ... the NPC Board of Directors. ... has joined us in support of our efforts ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Delcath Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: DCTH ), a ... of primary and metastatic liver cancers, announces that the ... www.againsttheodds.eu - has been awarded a silver medal ... The website was developed as an education ... who are coping with the devastating diagnosis of cancer ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 On Wednesday, June 22, 2016, ... 0.22%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.27% lower to ... down 0.17%. Stock-Callers.com has initiated coverage on the following equities: ... (NASDAQ: AMAG ), IDEXX Laboratories Inc. (NASDAQ: ... ADRO ). Learn more about these stocks by accessing their ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Comfort Keepers® of San Diego, CA is excited ... To Recovery® program to drive cancer patients to and from their cancer treatments. ... highest quality of life and ongoing independence. Getting to and from medical treatments ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... York, NY (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 ... ... publication Haute Living, is proud to recognize Dr. Barry M. Weintraub as a ... that “the most beautiful women in the world, and the most handsome men, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... Heroes Golf Classic Tournament held on June 20th at the Woodmont Country Club ... charity, Luke’s Wings, an organization dedicated to helping service members that have been wounded ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... management skills and infrastructure. Most providers, however, are unsure how to move forward, ... Ascend to define a path forward tailored to an organization’s specific needs. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):