Using advanced genetics and molecular biology Oxitec has developed a new and innovative solution to controlling the dengue mosquito, Aedes aegypti.
The Oxitec solution harnesses the natural instincts of male mosquitoes to find females in the wild. Oxitec has used genetic modification to create ‘sterile’ male insects which seek out and mate with females. After an Oxitec mosquito has successfully mated with a wild female, any offspring that result will not survive to adulthood, so the mosquito population declines.
The Oxitec Control Programme is the system through which Oxitec mosquitoes are released and monitored in a dengue-hit area over a predetermined and sustained period of time. By applying the Oxitec Control Programme to an area, the mosquito population in that area can be dramatically reduced or eliminated.
The Oxitec approach is targeted at a single species, unlike conventional insecticides or pesticides which kill insects indiscriminately. This means that, as well as being more effective, it is much better for the environment than conventional tools.
The personal cost of dengue fever for the individual is high. But dengue also places a strangle-hold on entire communities. The economic cost of dengue is phenomenal and is estimated to cost the global economy US$5 billion annually. In addition to the high cost of current control methods, and the even higher cost of caring for dengue patients, dengue outbreaks can devastate tourism in countries which often rely on the income which overseas visitors can bring.
The Oxitec solution provides a proven means of protecting people from dengue fever. It will enable individuals and whole communities to go back to work and get on with their lives free from this dangerous and debilitating disease. It will alleviate a major economic burden for governments around the world, and free up resources within communities to allow increased spending on other healthcare problems. Oxitec’s solution can achieve all this because it is:
Oxitec is committed to helping people live a life free from dengue.
For more detailed information on the Oxitec approach please visit our pages on RIDL science