Modified mosquitoes may save millions more lives in Latin America

Marina E. Franco,  Axios,  2024.

A program that uses genetically engineered mosquitoes in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico to reduce the prevalence of diseases that can be fatal may soon serve millions more people.

Why it matters: Outbreaks of dengue, chikungunya, zika and yellow fever —diseases carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito —have long hit the Americas and other tropical regions hard.

  • Climate change has worsened the spread of these diseases, experts say, as rising temperatures favor the life cycle of the mosquitoes and their proliferation in more areas — including, increasingly, the U.S.
  • These diseases also tend to affect impoverished regions where a lack of health care options mean mosquito bites can become deadly.
  • Diseases such as dengue “feed on poverty and inequity, and they fuel it also,” World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week during an event in Brazil.

More related to this: