Dengue Mosquito Population Reduced by 79% in Jacobina, Bahia, Using Oxitec Solution
CAMPINAS, Brazil, April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –
A project taking place in Jacobina, Bahia has again shown the effectiveness of the
Oxitec OX513A mosquito in reducing the dengue mosquito population.
Led by the social organisation Moscamed, the project showed that releases of the
genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (OX513A) reduced by 79% the wild dengue
mosquito population after six months. The results obtained in the neighbourhood of Pedra
Branca protected about 1,500 residents from the bite of the dengue mosquito.
The city of Jacobina, which has about 50 thousand inhabitants, started a field
demonstration using the Oxitec mosquito in June 2013, under permit from CTNBio (National
Technical Commission on Biosaftey). “The work in the neighbourhood of Pedra Branca will
now enter the phase called ‘clean-up’. In the next six months Moscamed will release Oxitec
mosquitoes at a lower rate with the intention of reinforcing the suppression. After this
period they will continue monitoring the wild mosquitoes in the area and also make small
releases with the objective of preventing a ressurgence of mosquitoes. At the same time,
releases of Oxitec mosquitoes will start in adjacent neighbourhoods, expanding the area
protected against the dengue mosquito” confirmed Dr Andrew McKemey, Head of Field
Operations at Oxitec.
The results obtained are consistent with previous evaluations, carried out in the
Itaberaba and Mandacaru neighbourhoods of Juazeiro, also in Bahia, and in the Cayman
Islands. In Itaberaba, the reduction in the population of wild adult Aedes aegypti, after
the releases, was 81%; in Mandacaru 93%; in the Cayman Isles, 82%. “The latest results
confirm that continued release of the Oxitec mosquito can be highly effective in the
reduction of dengue mosquito populations, offering a real hope to thousands of people
threatened by the transmission of disease”, added McKemey.
The President of Moscamed, Dr Aldo Malavasi, confirmed that the Oxitec method is an
important tool for the control of the dengue mosquito. “Brazil has one of the highest
incidences of dengue in the world. We are pioneers in the use of this innovative approach
because we urgently need new tools to control the dengue mosquito, which is growing
exponentially despite the efforts to control it with conventional means.”
Before releasing Oxitec mosquitoes, Moscamed carried out a programme of community
engagement, explaining to residents in the area what the mosquito is. “The local residents
are supportive and favourable to the work that is being done. The local population
understands better than any one of us the threat respresented by the dengue mosquito, so
it is extremely encouraging to see that this new solution can offer a real hope for all
the people who live in the shadow of this disease”, added Malavasi.
About Oxitec Ltd.
Oxitec is a pioneer in controlling insects that spread disease and damage crops. It
was formed in 2002 as a ‘spin-out’ from Oxford University (England).
The technology developed by Oxitec creates genetically modified insects whose males
are unable to have viable offspring after mating with wild females. This builds upon the
use of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), which for more than 50 years has used
irradiation to sterilize male insects to control or even eliminate populations of pest
Oxitec’s first products are for the control of Aedes aegypti, the mosquito species
primarily responsible for transmitting dengue fever, and Mediterranean fruit fly, one of
the world’s most damaging agricultural pests.
Sites: http://www.oxitec.com [http://www.oxitec.com.br ] and
Moscamed is a leading exponent of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), an
environmentally friendly and proven technique to control insect pests. Moscamed provide
both monitoring services and carry out SIT programmes for the control of fruit flies in
Brazil. The studies are funded by Secretary of Health and Secretary of Science and
Technology of State of Bahia.
Additional notes for press
- There is no vaccine or treatment for dengue. - The Aedes aegypti mosquito is the main vector of dengue, a disease affecting about 390 million people per year worldwide, that causes various symptoms and which can lead to death in the most serious cases. - The dengue mosquito is known for being difficult to control; the conventional methods currently in use have been demonstrated to be inadequate to prevent the transmission of disease.
SOURCE Oxitec Ltd.