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:4/24/2017)... 2017 Solentim, the developer of instrumentation ... of a major new product line called the ... VIPS has been developed for automatically seeding single ... part of the process to generate clonally-derived cell ... more reliable solution when compared to traditional single ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 ... "Global Biosimilar Pipeline and Market Prospects: Addressing Production ... report to their offering. ... "Global Biosimilar Pipeline and Market Prospects: ... Design" provides an in-depth assessment of the current trends ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... April 20, 2017  AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV), a ... (n=145/146) of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected ... 6 and compensated cirrhosis (Child-Pugh A) achieved sustained ... ) with its investigational, pan-genotypic regimen of glecaprevir/pibrentasvir ... seen following 12 weeks of G/P treatment without ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... with the Home Care Association of America (HCAOA). This agreement allows HCAOA members ... services, as well as discounts on Accreditation University (AU) educational resources that help ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... April 28, 2017 , ... ... to announce the integration of Microsoft(R) Word(TM) Online(TM), which enables sleep physicians to ... since it streamlines the reporting process and provides a familiar interface that does ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) announced ... its outlook as “stable.” At the same time, the ratings agency cautioned that the ... dip below “capital adequacy” thresholds required for its strong rating. , “Horizon is committed ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... GlycoMark, Inc. announced today ... throughout the Northeast U.S. , GlycoMark is the only clinically available blood ... provides a clinically proven one- to two-week measure of hyperglycemic excursions, often related ...
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... April 28, 2017 , ... Ushio America ... lamps offer an instant energy-saving solution for F32T8 fluorescent lamps on most instant-start ... ballasts. These 50,000 hour rated lamps utilize the existing electronic ballast, saving labor ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):