Panama Fights Dengue With Transgenic Mosquitoes

by Thilaka Ravi on  January 15, 2014 at 8:51 PM Dengue News   - G J E 4
A dengue outbreak has claimed six lives this year in Panama and officials will try and control dengue by releasing transgenic mosquitoes to render infertile female transmitters of the disease.
Panama Fights Dengue With Transgenic Mosquitoes
Panama Fights Dengue With Transgenic Mosquitoes

Health Ministry director Carlos Galvez told AFP the technique has "shown promise" in Brazil and the Cayman Islands.

In Panama, it is being run by the Instituto Gorgas tropical research institute.

"The GM male mosquitoes have contact with the females that transmit dengue; then the eggs the (non-GM) females lay no longer produce (dengue-)transmitting mosquitoes," he explained.

Galvez said the GM mosquitoes are not a danger to humans because they do not feed on blood, but rather on fruit.

GM mosquitoes live for just a week, while normal ones live for a month.

The ministry plans to release the GM bugs in two weeks, numbering in the hundreds for each estimated dengue-transmitting female.

Source: AFP

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