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The Friendly™ Mosquitoes are a targeted vector-control solution to pest mosquitoes that spread disease.
The female mosquito is the most dangerous animal in the world. Every year, her bite spreads diseases and parasites that kill almost one million people and cause debilitating illnesses in hundreds of millions more.
But not all mosquitoes are responsible for this suffering. There are around 3,500 different species of mosquito, and only a few hundred of these can transmit disease. Among the most dangerous is Aedes aegypti.
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is an increasingly global threat. This mosquito almost exclusively bites humans, has evolved to live in and around people’s homes and it is the primary vector of several viral diseases, including dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.
Aedes aegypti now lives alongside half of the world’s population and unfortunately, there is no cure or specific treatment for many diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti. Vaccines are only available for yellow fever and dengue, leaving many people unprotected from the other diseases the Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads.
With a lack of treatment options, public health agencies are trying to stop these devastating diseases at their common source: by controlling the Aedes aegypti mosquito itself.
Unfortunately, existing methods of controlling Aedes aegypti, such as spraying or fogging using chemical insecticides, have failed to stop the spread of disease. This is partly because Aedes aegypti has developed resistance to insecticides, rendering many common chemicals ineffective at killing the mosquito. In addition, Aedes aegypti can be very difficult to reach because it lives around humans, breeding in and around people’s homes.
The Friendly™ Mosquitoes
Friendly™ Mosquitoes are male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that carry a “self-limiting” gene. When Friendly™ Mosquitoes mate with wild females, their offspring inherit a copy of this gene, that prevents them surviving to adulthood. Since the offspring do not mature to reproduce, there is a reduction in the wild pest population.
Our Friendly™ Mosquitoes are already being used to effectively fight Aedes aegypti in projects around the world. Pilot projects in countries like Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands, Friendly™ Mosquitoes have suppressed wild populations by more than 80% relative to an untreated area – a level of control greater than that typically achieved with insecticides.
Read more about the technology here.
Benefits of our solution
Our solution for controlling this dangerous mosquito overcomes many problems of existing methods. Chemical insecticides often can’t reach Aedes aegypti where it lives. Our Friendly™ Mosquitoes have one job: to find and mate with the wild females, where they are. Over time, with repeated releases, there is a reduction in the population of wild Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.
Our technology is also environmentally responsible: it is targeted to this one species of mosquito, without affecting other insects like bees and butterflies.
Like our other products, the Friendly™ Mosquitoes contain a fluorescent marker gene, which allows us to monitor their offspring in the environment. We can use this information to adjust the location and rate of releases to help achieve the best level of suppression.
NEWS & VIEWS
Oxitec’s Friendly™ Aedes achieves 81% suppression of wild Aedes aegypti in CECAP/Eldorado, Piracicaba, in second year of project
Oxitec’s Friendly™ Aedes Mosquito Receives Positive Evaluation for European Standard in relation to Human Health and the Environment
Oxitec Announces Friendly™ Aedes project is supported by 92.8% of Piracicaba’s population