Upscaling irradiation protocols of Aedes albopictus pupae within an SIT program in Reunion Island

Marquereau, L., Yamada, H., Damiens, D. et al.,  Scientific Reports,  14. 2024.

The implementation of the sterile insect technique against Aedes albopictus relies on many parameters, in particular on the success of the sterilization of males to be released into the target area in overflooding numbers to mate with wild females. Achieving consistent sterility levels requires efficient and standardized irradiation protocols. Here, we assessed the effects of exposure environment, density of pupae, irradiation dose, quantity of water and location in the canister on the induced sterility of male pupae. We found that the irradiation of 2000 pupae in 130 ml of water and with a dose of 40 Gy was the best combination of factors to reliably sterilize male pupae with the specific irradiator used in our control program, allowing the sterilization of 14000 pupae per exposure cycle. The location in the canister had no effect on induced sterility. The results reported here allowed the standardization and optimization of irradiation protocols for a Sterile Insect Technique program to control Ae. albopictus on Reunion Island, which required the production of more than 300,000 sterile males per week.

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