Posted: Mar 25, 2016 12:38 pm
by tuco
Its fascinating stuff, no disrespect.

Given the seriousness of the dengue and now the Zika crises and the need for a broader range of control techniques, a WHO Vector Control Advisory Group has evaluated some newer tools, including a genetically modified prototype mosquito submitted for WHO review. For genetically modified mosquitoes, the WHO Advisory Group has recommended further field trials and risk assessment to evaluate the impact of this new tool on disease transmission. Trials previously conducted in the Cayman Islands showed significant reductions in the Ae. aegypti population.

A promising biological method of control uses male mosquitoes carrying the naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria, which are found in 60% of common insects, including butterflies and fruit flies. These bacteria do not infect humans or other mammals. When females mate with males carrying the bacteria, the eggs do not hatch, thus suppressing mosquito populations. Another strain of Wolbachia under investigation establishes the bacteria in the mosquito population and reduces the mosquitoes’ ability to transmit dengue. The mosquitoes are not genetically modified as the technique involves no tampering with or modifications of genes. Mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia bacteria have been released in several places, including Australia, Brazil, Indonesia, and Viet Nam as part of control strategies for dengue. Large-scale field trials of Wolbachia bacteria will be initiated soon. ... ontrol/en/

Inside the Mosquito Factory That Could Stop Dengue and Zika
Genetically modified mosquitoes seem to stop the spread of disease—but will Brazil, or anyone else, pay for them?

These mosquitoes will spend their lives competing, copulating, and, because they are so numerous, overwhelming the population of wild males in the pursuit of females. Because of a genetic change to their DNA, they will live only four days—and their offspring won’t ever develop past the larval stage. ... -and-zika/

In Australia, a New Tactic in Battle Against Zika Virus: Mosquito Breeding

The plan depends on microbes called Wolbachia bacteria. If they are present in a mosquito, it cannot become a carrier of a wide range of dangerous pathogens, including dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika. And when it breeds, it passes the Wolbachia bacteria to its offspring, and they also cannot carry those diseases.

Wolbachia bacteria exist naturally in some mosquito species, Dr. O’Neill said, and a walk around a tropical garden might turn up a host of other insects, including dragonflies, butterflies and fruit flies, that also carry the microbe. But it is not found naturally in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the type that transmits “almost 99 percent of the viruses that cause outbreaks of Zika, yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya” in humans, Dr. O’Neill said.

“Our idea wasn’t to go out and put poisons into the environment, things that harm people or kill animals,” he said. “The mosquitoes stay in the food chain. We wanted a small change. And this seems to be it.” ... .html?_r=0