Who we are, what we do
Oxitec is a British biotech company pioneering an environmentally friendly way to control insect pests that spread disease and damage crops.
Here are some short clips to meet some of our team and find out more about what we do.
Dengue is a growing global problem. Spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, it infects between 50 and 100 million people annually and reported cases have increased 30-fold in the last 50 years. Conventional methods of mosquito population control, such as pesticide spraying and fogging, have failed to stop the spread. In agriculture, pests such as olive fly, pink bollworm and medfly cause widespread damage to crops and significant financial loss.
Oxitec has used advanced genetics to develop a new solution to controlling populations of the dengue mosquito and other harmful insects in a way that is sustainable, environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
Insects pose a major threat to man. Many diseases are spread by insects and in agriculture insects cause damage to crop yields, reduce quality and cause financial losses.
Despite technical advances over the last 50 years, the danger posed by insects is on the increase. Starting with the dengue mosquito, Oxitec is developing a range of health and agriculture programmes to combat insect pest populations.
Resistance to insecticides is growing and for some diseases, including dengue fever, there is no treatment or cure. There is an urgent need for a new approach to complement the best existing practice.
Using advanced genetics Oxitec breeds and releases ‘sterile’ males of the damage-causing species. This highly targeted form of biological control is safe to other species, causes no lasting impact on the environment and is cost-effective.