Modified Mosquitoes And The Fight Against Zika

Modified Mosquitoes And The Fight Against Zika first appeared on the Backyard Bug Patrol blog.

The threat of the Zika virus is spreading at an alarming rate. A British biotech company has put forward a proposal to release genetically modified mosquitoes to help combat the virus. Here’s an article with some further information.

Things To Know About GMO Mosquito Test Proposal

The spread of the Zika virus in Latin America is giving a boost to a British biotech firm’s proposal to deploy a genetically modified mosquito to try to stop transmission of the disease. Oxitec has genetically modified the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also transmits dengue and chikungunya, so the males produce offspring that do not live.

These modified beasts have been used on previous occasions. In Brazil thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes were released to try and help reduce the population of mosquitoes in the fight against Dengue.

The Florida Keys has been the chosen hot spot to put these needle nose pests to work. Maybe they can do some good after all? Maybe mosquitoes can contribute to mosquito prevention?  Here’s an article that helps explain why releasing more mosquitoes can help with the fight against zika.

How Could Releasing More Mosquitoes Help Fight Zika? – NPR
It might seem crazy to release more than 300,000 mosquitoes in a place where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are a scourge because they spread diseases such as yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya. But the mosquitoes in the van aren’t just any mosquitoes. They’re genetically engineered to help prevent the spread of Zika and the other viruses.

The method is a controversial topic of conversation. Many scientists believe that this could be the way forward to combat the problem.  However, releasing thousands or even millions of mosquitoes into the population does instill an element of fear of the unknown result to many.

We will keep you updated on this one when we find out more…

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