Fighting the world’s most deadly animal: the mosquito

M. Rozenbaum,  Understanding Animal Research,  2021.

In the first, sterile male mosquitos are mass produced and released into the wild. These sterile males mate with wild females who then lay sterile eggs which will not hatch. This approach has been shown to reduce wild populations by as much as 90% in trials with Aedes aegypt. The second approach is to introduce a gene that, if inherited, results in the death of the female, but not the male. Genetically modified males are mass produced and released. Only male offspring from matings between the modified males and wild females survive. They go on to breed, further spreading the female-killing gene and reducing the overall mosquito population. Genetically modified mosquitoes have been successfully used in parts of Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Panama, and India to control Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Since 2019, over one billion GM mosquitoes have been released. When genetically modified mosquitoes stop being released into an area, the Ae. aegypti mosquito population slowly returns to normal levels, so control requires regular release of modified mosquitos.

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