High Tech Solution for Controlling the Dengue Mosquito Is Approved by CTNBio

April 10, 2014

CAMPINAS, Brazil, April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

The National Technical Commission for Biosecurity (CTNBio), the collegiate body
responsible for approval and regulation of transgenic organisms in Brazil, today approved
the commercial release of the genetically modified (GM) mosquito, OX513A, developed by
Oxitec. It is the first GM insect to be considered safe for commercial use in Brazil and
the latest of a long series of biotechnology approvals by CTNBio.

The Oxitec mosquito, which can be used to control the dengue mosquito, Aedes aegypti,
is a strain of the wild species that contains two additional genes. The Oxitec males
(which cannot bite) are released to seek out and mate with the wild females. Their
offspring inherit the additional genes and die before becoming functional adults. They
also inherit a marker that is visible under a special light, making monitoring in the
field simple and helping ensure that dengue mosquito control programmes succeed.

In several trials, successive releases of the Oxitec males have been shown to reduce
substantially the wild population of dengue mosquitoes in the treated area.

“We are delighted that CTNBio have recognised the intrinsic safety and negligible
environmental risk of Oxitec’s mosquitoes. As an innovative approach it is important to
have such rigourous examination. In recent years our technology has been attracting a
great deal of attention from dengue endemic countries worldwide and CTNBio’s technical
opinion will be very helpful for other countries considering whether to evaluate this for
their own circumstances. We feel that the beneficial environmental profile, coupled with
excellent efficacy to date, make the Oxitec mosquito a valuable new tool for health
authorities around the world to complement their existing efforts in tackling the
mosquitoes that spread dengue fever,” said Hadyn Parry, CEO of Oxitec.

The mosquito Aedes aegypti is the main vector of dengue, a virus that infects an
estimated 390 million people per year worldwide. Dengue can cause a variety of symptoms
including nausea, acute pain and fever. In the more serious cases it can develop into
dengue haemorrhagic fever and can even lead to death. There is neither medication nor an
approved vaccine for dengue. The dengue mosquito lives in and around the home and is known
for being difficult to control. Conventional methods currently in use have shown
themselves to be insufficient to prevent the spread of the disease.

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). 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


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/oxitec

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/oxitec

SOURCE Oxitec Ltd.

Source: PR Newswire

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