Overview of Oxitec’s Outdoor Mosquito Projects

Oxitec is working on several projects in different countries. Here is an overview of outdoor projects to date with OX513A, our Aedes aegypti strain. For more information please email.


In collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo and Moscamed there have been a series of permitted trials in Bahia state from 2011 in Itaberaba and Mandacaru, following approvals from CTNBio. In these trials the target Aedes aegypti mosquito populations were reduced by up to 99%*. Publications of these trials are expected shortly.

In April 2014 the Oxitec OX513A received technical approval for commercial release in Brazil from the National Technical Commission of Biosecurity (CTNBio).

A large scale release programme is being carried out by Moscamed in Jacobina, Bahia state. In the first phase of this project the local Aedes aegypti population has been reduced by up to 92%* in the first area of release in Pedra Branca.

Oxitec are also starting a new partnership with the Municipality of Piracicaba in the neighbourhood of Cecap – an area in the eastern region of the city which has reported a sharp increase in the number of dengue cases this year.

Approval has also been granted by CTNBio for trials of Oxitec Medfly in Brazil.

Further reading:




Carvalho et al. 2015. Suppression of a Field Population of Aedes aegypti in Brazil by Sustained Release of Transgenic Male Mosquitoes. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0003864


The Mosquito Control Research Unit (MRCU) in Cayman carried out trials of Oxitec OX513A mosquitoes in 2009 and 2010 following approval by the Cayman Islands Department of Agriculture. 3.3 million Oxitec mosquitoes were released over a 16 hectare site and this achieved 96%* suppression of target Aedes aegypti population

The results of this study have been published in Nature Biotechnology.

Further reading:


Harris, A.F., McKemey, A.R., Nimmo, D., Curtis, Z., Black, I., Morgan, S.A., Oviedo, M.N., Lacroix, R., Naish, N., Morrison, N.I., et al. (2012). Successful suppression of a field mosquito population by sustained release of engineered male mosquitos. Nat Biotechnol 30, 828-830. http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v30/n9/full/nbt.2350.html

Harris, A. F., Nimmo, D., McKemey, A. R., Kelly, N., Scaife, S., Beech, C., Petrie, W., and Alphey, L. (2011) Field performance of engineered male mosquitos. Nature Biotechnology 29: 1034-1037. http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v29/n11/abs/nbt.2019.html


Oxitec worked with The Institute of Medical Research in Malaysia for several years focusing on laboratory level investigations, followed by a preliminary outdoor evaluation of the performance of OX513A. The trial objectives were to compare survival, mating and performance of the OX513A strain compared to local wild type Aedes aegypti.

Publications have focused on the biosafety review process, regulatory protocols at national level and public engagement before the field trial.

Further reading:

Camilla J. Beech, S.S. Vasan, M. Megan Quinlan , Margareth Lara Capurro, Luke Alphey,, Vicente Bayard, Madama Bouaré, Maria Corena McLeod, Pattamaporn Kittayapong, James V.Lavery, Lee Han Lim, Mauro Toledo Marrelli, J. Nagaraju, Kenneth Ombongi, Rofina Yasmin Othman,, Vilasini Pillai, Janine Ramsey, Rachel Reuben, Robert I. Rose ,Brij Kishore Tyagi, and John Mumford (2009). Deployment of Innovative Genetic Vector Control Strategies: Progress on Regulatory and Biosafety Aspects, Capacity Building and Development of Best-Practice Guidance. As. Pac. J. Mol. Biol. & Biotech. 17:75-85.

Renaud Lacroix, Andrew R. McKemey, Norzahira Raduan,, Lim Kwee Wee, Wong Hong Ming, Teoh Guat Ney, Siti Rahidah A.A., Sawaluddin Salman, Selvi Subramaniam, Oreenaiza Nordin, Norhaida Hanum A.T., Rosemary S. Lees, Chandru Angamuthu, Suria Marlina Mansor, Neil Naish, Sarah Scaife, Pam Gray, Geneviève Labbé, Camilla Beech, Shahnaz Murad, Derric Nimmo, Luke Alphey,, Vasan S. Seshadri,, Lee Han Lim, Nazni Wasi A. (2012). Open Field Release of Genetically Engineered Sterile Male Aedes aegypti in Malaysia. PLoS One.

Lee HL, Seshadri Vasan, Nazni Wasi Ahmad, Iswarti Idris, Norhaida Hanum, S Selvi, Luke Alphey (2012). Mating compatibility and competitiveness of transgenic and wild type Aedes aegypti (L.) under contained semi-field conditions. Transgenic Research DOI 10.1007/s11248-012-9625-z

Lee, H.L., Aramu, M., Nazni, W.A., Selvi, S. and Seshadri Vasan (2009). No evidence of interspecific cross-mating of transgenic Aedes  aegypti  (L) and wild type Aedes  albopictus Skuse. Trop Biomed 26: 312-319.

Nazni WA,  Selvi S,  Lee HL ,Sadiyah I, Azahari H , Derric N and  Vasan S (2009). Susceptibility status of transgenic Aedes aegypti (L.) against insecticides.  Dengue Bulletin 33: 124-129.

Subramaniam, T. S., H. L. Lee, et al. (2012). “Genetically modified mosquito: the Malaysian public engagement experience.” Biotechnol J 7(11): 1323-1327.  http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/biot.201200282/abstract

Nordin, M.O., Donald, W., Ming, H.W., Ney, G.T., Mohamed, A.K., Halim, A.A.N., Winskill, P., Hadi, A.H., Lacroix, R., Scaife, S., et al. (2012). Oral ingestion of transgenic RIDL Ae. aegypti larvae has no negative effect on two predator Toxorhynchites species. PLoS One 8. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0058805


The Gorgas Institute have just completed a study of the Oxitec mosquito in the neighbourhood of Nuevo Chorrillo, a residential suburb of the Arraiján District, west of Panama City. The Institute is named after William Gorgas who is renowned for masterminding campaigns against malaria and yellow fever mosquitoes that devastated the first attempts to build the Panama Canal.

Approval for the pilot was obtained from Panama’s National Biosafety Committee, and from the Ministries of Agricultural Development and Commerce and Industry.

Significant suppression of target Aedes aegypti mosquitoes was achieved and results have been published and Gorgas presented the project to the Ministry. The collaboration with Gorgas is ongoing and we are working together on new molecular tools for investigating vector – disease dynamics.

Further reading:



Gorman et al. 2015. Short-term suppression of Aedes aegypti using genetic control does not facilitate Aedes albopictus. Pest Management Science. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ps.4151/epdf


We are currently preparing for a potential mosquito control trial in the Florida Keys. The proposed project is currently under independent regulatory review, led by the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM) who are coordinating with other federal and state agencies such as the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA). There would be no releases without approval from FDA.

The USDA has also released a pink bollworm moth strain, modified by Oxitec, since 2006 in Arizona as part of their Sterile Insect Technique programme to control this major pest of cotton.

Approval has been received from USDA for a trial with Oxitec diamondback moth for evaluation of control of one of the most significant pests of cruciferous vegetables in the US and around the world.

Further reading:




Neil I Morrison, Gregory S Simmons, Guoliang Fu, Sinead O’Connell, Adam S Walker, Tarig Dafa’alla, Michelle Walters, John Claus, Guolei Tang, Li Jin, Thea Marubbi, Matthew J Epton, Claire L Harris, Robert T Staten, Ernest Miller, Thomas A Miller, Luke Alphey (2012) Engineered repressible lethality for controlling the pink bollworm, a lepidopteran pest of cotton. PLoS ONE 7(12): e50922. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0050922

Walters, M., Morrison, N.I., Claus, J., Tang, G., Phillips, C.E., Young, R., Zink, R.T., Alphey, L. (2012) Field longevity of a fluorescent protein marker in an engineered strain of the pink bollworm, Pectinophora gossypiella (Saunders). PLoS ONE 7(6): e38547. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038547

Simmons, G., McKemey, A., Morrison, N,. O’Connell, S., Tabashnik, B., Claus, J., Fu, G., Tang, G., Sledge, M., Walker, A., Phillips, C., Miller, E., Rose, R., Staten, R., Donnelly, C., Alphey, L. (2011). Field performance of a genetically engineered strain of pink bollworm. PLoS ONE.

Simmons et al (2007) in ‘Area-Wide Control of Insect Pests: From Research to Field Implementation’, Springer, Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Neil I Morrison, Gregory S Simmons, Guoliang Fu, Sinead O’Connell, Adam S Walker, Tarig Dafa’alla, Michelle Walters, John Claus, Guolei Tang, Li Jin, Thea Marubbi, Matthew J Epton, Claire L Harris, Robert T Staten, Ernest Miller, Thomas A Miller, Luke Alphey (2012) Engineered repressible lethality for controlling the pink bollworm, a lepidopteran pest of cotton. PLoS ONE 7(12): e50922. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0050922.


We have more projects pending and will update this page with developments. For more information as it happens you can also follow our newsletter.

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*Suppression figures represent the reduction in the target Aedes aegypti mosquito population at the treated site relative to the untreated comparator site.