Aedes aegypti is an invasive mosquito now found in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions across the globe. Aedes aegypti spreads dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 100 million people each year suffer from dengue – a debilitating and sometimes fatal disease also known as ‘break-bone fever’. Other estimates put the number of infections as high as 400 million people per year and the number of infections is growing rapidly.
The 2nd Generation Friendly™ Aedes aegypti carries a self-limiting gene that prevents female offspring from surviving, allowing for male-only production. After releases of Friendly™ males into the field, which find and mate with wild female mosquitoes, reduction of the target population is achieved as the female offspring of these encounters cannot survive. Male progeny survive, carrying a copy of the self-limiting gene; in turn, these males are able to pass on the self-limiting gene to half of their offspring, of which female carriers of the gene cannot survive. The self-limiting gene can thereby persist but declines over time, offering potentially multiple but still self-limiting generations of suppression for every Oxitec Friendly™ Aedes aegypti male released.
A recent pilot project in the city of Indaiatuba, Brazil, demonstrated the new strain’s effectiveness in suppressing populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Read more about how our solution works here.
Where is Aedes aegypti native?
Aedes aegypti is invasive in most of its current range, after spreading from its native Africa.
How has it spread across the world?
The eggs of Aedes aegypti are able to remain dormant in dry conditions for several months, then hatching when it rains. As international movement of people and goods has risen, Aedes aegypti has been inadvertently taken with them as dormant eggs, helping the mosquito to colonise new regions.
What makes Aedes aegypti such a dangerous disease vector?
The female Aedes aegypti mosquito is able to transmit several viral diseases - including dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever - when it blood-feeds. Aedes aegypti has a strong preference for biting people and adapts well to living in urban areas. It is also a day-biting mosquito, which reduces the effectiveness of bed-nets in protecting people against biting female Aedes aegypti.