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.