The ‘Friendly Aedes aegypti Project’ which started in Piracicaba, Brazil is going further following strong results for controlling the Aedes aegypti mosquito population, the primary vector for dengue, chikungunya and Zika virus, it was announced today.
The UK-based Oxitec, the world’s only GM insect company, is initiating a new mosquito production facility in Piracicaba that will have capacity to protect over 300,000 people.
“We are delighted Piracicaba is encouraged by our strong results and expanding the programme. Our new facility will support the roll out of our ground-breaking vector-control across the heart of the city and beyond,” said Oxitec’s chief executive officer, Hadyn Parry.
“As the principal source for the fastest growing vector-borne infection in the world in Dengue Fever, as well as the increasingly challenging Zika virus, controlling the Aedes aegypti population provides the best defence against these serious diseases for which there are no cures.”
Following approval by Brazil’s National Biosafety Committee for releases throughout the country, Piracicaba’s CECAP/Eldorado district became the world’s first municipality to partner directly with Oxitec and in April 2015 started releasing its self-limiting mosquitoes whose offspring do not survive. Six million mosquitoes were released into the area of the city which has seen most dengue cases.