Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released In US For First Time To Combat Disease

J. Van Zijl,  IFL Science,  2021.

A landmark project, spearheaded by the biotechnology company, Oxitec, has released genetically modified mosquitos in the Florida Keys. This marks the first time that genetically modified mosquitos have been released into the wild in the US. The reason: to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquito species responsible for spreading mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue and Zika in the region. Aedes aegypti only accounts for about 4 percent of the total mosquito population in Florida keys – however, it is responsible for almost all mosquito-borne diseases to humans. Current methods to control the species, such as spraying or fogging chemical insecticides, have failed due to the species becoming resistant. So an alternative solution was needed.

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