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:9/27/2017)... , Sept. 27, 2017  Commended for their devotion ... notable awards. Ranked as number one in the South Florida ... time in Inc. 5000 yearly list, the national specialty pharmacy ... Armando Bardisa will soon be honored by SFBJ ... Set to receive his award in ...
(Date:9/25/2017)...   Montrium , an industry leader in ... IQPC Trial Master Files & Inspection Readiness Conference ... Clinical Services has selected eTMF Connect ... EastHORN, a leading European contract research organization (CRO), ... to enable greater collaboration with sponsors, improve compliance ...
(Date:9/23/2017)... Sept. 22, 2017 Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) ... letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ... sirukumab for the treatment of moderately to severely active ... clinical data are needed to further evaluate the safety ... active RA. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network for professional women, brought ... gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City in June. The event ... audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women video, click here ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Yisrayl Hawkins, Pastor and Overseer at ... of the most popular and least understood books in the Holy Scriptures, Revelation. The ... that have baffled scholars for centuries. Many have tossed it off as mere rubbish, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Coveros, a leader in agile ... a contract by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The Enterprise ... use of Agile methodologies in a consistent and high value manner across CMS ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: ... “America On The Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. ... As a WWII veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... now treating sleep apnea using cutting-edge Oventus O2Vent technology. As many ... sleep disorder characterized by frequent cessation in breathing. Oral appliances can offer significant ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):