Billions of genetically modified male mosquitos will be released in California and Florida as a ‘natural pest control’ to stop the spread of diseases like Zika, yellow fever and Dengue

R. Morrison,  Daily Mail,  2022.

Billions of genetically engineered male mosquitos will be released in California and Florida over the next two years, as part of a mission to kill off biting females. Oxitec, based in Oxford UK, is a biological pest control development firm, that has produced the edited version of the flying insects to combat mosquito-borne diseases like Dengue, yellow fever and Zika. Male Aedes aegypti mosquitos don’t bite humans, but females do, and so the genetic modification causes females to die off soon after being born. The project has been cleared by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the first wave is due to be released this year, although it isn’t clear exactly when this will happen, as it requires state regulatory approval in Florida and California. It isn’t likely to be a problem in Florida, as the state played host to a trial last year that saw millions of the same type of Oxitec mosquitos released in the Florida Keys.

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