Genetically modified mosquitoes fight dengue fever – Light Years – CNN.com BlogsPosted: July 13, 2012
In Brazil this year alone, the health ministry recorded 431,194 infections, with Rio de Janeiro leading in the number of cases. While the government of Brazil has attempted many other campaigns against the mosquitoes, Brazilian Health Minister Alexandre Padilha insists this new effort could be the answer to controlling the dengue epidemic in the country.
The farm in Bahia is a partnership between the Brazilian government and Moscamed, an agency that specializes in the production of transgenic insects for the biological control of pests. It uses research and methods developed by several Brazilian universities as well as by British company Oxitec. It will produce at maximum capacity around 4 million sterile males of the dengue-carrying mosquito Aedes Aegyptis per week.
Moscamed’s fact sheet on the project claims that since its beginning in February 2011 it has released more than 10 million male transgenics. This month over 95% of the larvae found in the two neighborhoods that served as test communities are already transgenic, or genetically modified to not reach adulthood, the agency says.