INTERNATIONAL: Use of GMO mosquitoes to kill disease-carrying vectors expands in Brazil amidst ZikV

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INTERNATIONAL: Use of GMO mosquitoes to kill disease-carrying vectors expands in Brazil amidst ZikV

Oxitec-mosquitoCARIBBEAN360 – A project using genetically modified (GM) male mosquitoes to kill off the disease-carrying vectors is being expanded in Brazil, as the country battles an outbreak of Zika virus.

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.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Careful with those GMO mosquitos that they don't evolve into something else and contaminate the food chain. Remember Africanized killer bees were created from a Brazilian cross-breeding experiment and these killer bees escaped from quarantine in 1956 and spread throughout the Americas.

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  2. Scientists are no longer experimenting in their labs.. the world is now their lab. They let out their experiments and then they let out a potential cure.

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