Novel Sterile Insect Technology Program Results in Suppression of a Field Mosquito Population and Subsequently to Reduced Incidence of Dengue

Lisiane de Castro Poncio, Filipe Apolinário dos Anjos, Deborah A de Oliveira, Débora Rebechi, et al.,  The Journal of Infectious Diseases,  224:1005-1014. 2021.

There is a steady rise in the global incidence of Aedes-borne arbovirus disease. It has become urgent to develop alternative solutions for mosquito vector control. We developed a new method of sterilization of male mosquitoes with the goal to suppress a local Aedes aegypti population and to prevent the spread of dengue. Sterile male mosquitoes were produced from a locally acquired Ae. aegypti colony by using a treatment that includes double-stranded RNA and thiotepa. A field study was conducted with sterile mosquito releases being performed on a weekly basis in predefined areas. There were 2 intervention periods (INT1 and INT2), with treatment and control areas reversed between INT1 and INT2.

During INT1, releases in the treated area resulted in up to 91.4% reduction of live progeny of field Ae. aegypti mosquitoes recorded over time, while the control neighborhoods (no releases of sterile male mosquitoes) remained highly infested. The successful implementations of the program during INT1 and INT2 were associated with 15.9-fold and 13.7-fold lower incidences of dengue in the treated area compared to the control areas, respectively. Our data show the success of this new sterile insect technology-based program in preventing the spread of dengue.

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