A scourge of genetically modified mosquitoes could be unleashed in California

J. Bote,  SFGATE,  2022.

A genetically modified scourge of mosquitoes could be unleashed throughout California as municipalities across the state grapple with increasing bouts of an invasive mosquito species. The mosquitoes, developed by the British biotech firm Oxitec, are known as OX5034 — a modified male version of Aedes aegypti, the species that first emerged in Los Angeles County about a decade ago before spreading to at least 22 different counties across the state. They are an invasive species known to carry dengue, Zika and a host of other diseases, and naturally spread in contained, urban spaces with standing water, such as flowerpots and open water bottles. Up to 2 million OX5034 mosquitoes could be released in the coming years throughout the state, pending state approval by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. The male species, which naturally do not bite humans, carry a gene that will ensure that female offspring do not grow into childhood. Male offspring, however, will survive — and continue to pass down the gene to further generations, hopefully eradicating the invasive species for good.

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