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:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016  Echo Therapeutics, ... device company focused on non-invasive continuous glucose ... today announced that it will host a ... 17, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time ... its corporate strategy, advancements in its CGM ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016 ... the "Global Skin Protective Equipment Market 2016-2020" ... --> http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/fqx6nz/global_skin ) has announced the addition ... 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... ) has announced the addition of the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... , Feb. 8, 2016   HighPoint ... November Research Group (NRG),s pharmacovigilance technology services division.  ... consulting services and an Oracle Argus Specialized partner, ... to Life Sciences companies. --> ... expands HighPoint,s life sciences capabilities and provides a ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:2/8/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 , ... ... offices in Houma, LA, celebrates the beginning of a new charity campaign. As ... assist Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). In the belief that children deserve a ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... If you are feeling that your clothes are ... alone. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 34.9% of U.S. ... certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death. February ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Local insurance agency ... Venice, FL area, has initiated a fundraiser for a two year old little ... days after Christmas. To support this beautiful child who is facing life’s journey ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... Eating disorders and post-traumatic ... of women and men with eating disorders report a history of trauma, research ... development of an eating disorder. , At the 2016 iaedp Symposium, the ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... The Association of ... AHCC and the Home Health and Hospice ICD-10 Transition Workgroup are working closely ... coding guidance and clarifications, to address concerns over the use of 'A' as ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):