Imprimir Republish

Dengue fever

Mosquito released


Release of Aedes in Juazeiro (BA): 80% fewer mosquitoesMOSCAMED

An experiment carried out in Juazeiro, in Bahia, has shown some encouraging results. There, transgenic Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, produced by the English company Oxitec, have been being released since 2011. According to the coordinator of the experiment, Professor Margareth Capurro from the University of São Paulo (USP), 80% of the mosquito population has been suppressed. Just males, which do not transmit disease, are being released. They have a modified gene that produces a protein that is fatal to the offspring that result from crossing with the normal females in the environment (see Pesquisa Fapesp #180). Meanwhile, the release of the same Oxitec mosquitoes on the Island of Key West, in the south of Florida, in the United States, is causing a contrary reaction from the local population. According to a report from the Nature issue of July 17, a petition with more than 100,000 signatures collected over a three-month period wants to prohibit the release, that aims to control the mosquito that transmits dengue fever, diagnosed in 94 people on the island since 2009. Margareth believes that what happened in Brazil was very different from what happened in the United States, where the company requested local registration and permission to carry out the experiment with the mosquito on its own. Here, the release was approved by CTNBio, the Brazilian Technical Biosafety Commission. Another company, Moscamed, also from Juazeiro, took part in the trials as well. “The  Brazilian team and the clarification for the local population before the release made all the difference,” says Margareth.