Oxitec is pioneering a new solution to control harmful insect populations, including the mosquito species Aedes aegypti which spreads Dengue Fever and Chikungunya. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100 million people each year suffer from a case of Dengue Fever – a debilitating and sometimes fatal disease also known as ‘break-bone fever’. Other estimates put the number of infections as high as 400 million people per year and the number of infections is growing rapidly. The same mosquito transmits Chikungunya, a disease with similar symptoms, that is most often found in the Indian sub-continent but which has recently emerged in the Caribbean causing up to 1 million cases in one year.
There’s no available vaccine or specific medication for these diseases so the only way to stop transmission is to control the mosquitoes that spread them.
Oxitec’s approach involves the release of genetically engineered male mosquitoes The Oxitec males mate with the wild females of the same species and the offspring die before they become adults. Following sequential releases in several countries we have shown that the pest population of Aedes aegypti can be reduced by over 90% in urban environments using our genetically engineered strain called OX513A.
Oxitec is the only company in the world offering genetically engineered insects to control Aedes aegypti.