Is there the potential for the spread of antibiotic resistance from Oxitec’s solution?

The problem of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is a significant challenge to health, driven from the many substantial uses of tetracycline in therapeutic and animal husbandry, and one that Oxitec takes extremely seriously.  That is why we minimize use, monitor it, and have subjected it to detailed review.

Oxitec has submitted over 283 pages of data and information to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and after exhaustive review by an interdisciplinary team of scientists including members from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the FDA concluded that:  “the likelihood of the adverse effects associated with development of anti-microbial resistance is extremely low and the risk is negligible”.  For a review of the data here are the links to Oxitec’s publicly available Environmental Assessment  and the FDA’s publicly available evaluation of the data.

In the Florida Keys, the facility in Marathon where the mosquitoes would be reared uses very low quantities of tetracycline. Even at maximum production capacity, the facility would produce less tetracycline waste per week than one person takes per day to treat acne: two 500 mg pills is a standard dose for tetracycline per day for acne, half of which is simply excreted in urine.