Back to the future: the sterile insect technique against mosquito disease vectors

R. S. Lees, J. R. L. Gilles, J. Hendrichs, M. J. B. Vreysen and K. Bourtzis,  Current Opinion in Insect Science,  10:156-162. 2015.

With the global burden of mosquito-borne diseases increasing, and some conventional vector control tools losing effectiveness, the sterile insect technique (SIT) is a potential new tool in the arsenal. Equipment and protocols have been developed and validated for efficient mass-rearing, irradiation and release of Aedines and Anophelines that could be useful for several control approaches. Assessment of male quality is becoming more sophisticated, and several groups are well advanced in pilot site selection and population surveillance. It will not be long before SIT feasibility has been evaluated in various settings. Until perfect sexing mechanisms exist, combination of Wolbachia-induced phenotypes, such as cytoplasmic incompatibility and pathogen interference, and irradiation may prove to be the safest solution for population suppression.

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