Use of genetically modifed mosquitoes to minimize the burden of diseases casused by mosquitoes in South Texas.

MDN Staff,  MegaDoctor News,  2021.

Of the many species of mosquitoes, female Aedes aegypti is the primary vector that is responsible for transmission of several diseases and has been most extensively studied. The efforts of the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent and/or control mosquito-borne illness have yielded success, but it remains a serious global challenge. More recently, several approaches to create transgenic mosquitoes with the ultimate objective of preventing and/or controlling mosquito-borne illness have undergone field studies. Infecting mosquitoes with different strains of Wolbachia resulted in the reduction of egg laying rates, transmission ability and shorter lifespan. Similarly, using genetic technology, a self-limiting strain of male mosquitoes (OX513A) when released in the field have shown an 81%-95% suppression of population of this strain as compared to adjacent no-release control field. These encouraging results prompted the issuance of authorization by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the use of second generation genetically modified mosquitoes (OX5034) in Florida and Texas” said Sohail Rao, MD, MA, DPhil, President and Chief Executive Officer, DHR Health Institute for Research & Development. As the first-ever use of genetically modified mosquitoes in the United States, over 750 million OX5034 will be ultimately released in the Florida Keys an area devastated by mosquito-borne illnesses

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