Public Health

Oxitec IS pioneering INNOVATIVE BIOLOGICAL Insect control technology to combat mosquitoes that transmit diseases.

 
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OXITEC’S New 2nd Generation Friendly™ MOSQUITO delivered up to 96% suppression of wild Aedes aegypti populations compared to a control site in its first pilot project.

 
 
 
 
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safE, Non-biting mosquitoEs

Oxitec’s Friendly™ mosquito technology uses two simple genes that create safe, non-biting, self-limiting and non-persistent male mosquitoes. Oxitec’s technology is safe for humans, animals and the environment, and targets only target disease vector species.

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targeted, self-limiting suppression

Of the offspring that inherit the self-limiting gene, only the males can survive, so each released Friendly™ male mosquito that successfully mates leads to a potential multi-generation, but still self-limiting, suppression effect.

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scalability and cost-effectiveness

Oxitec’s 2nd generation technology is paving the way to scalability - it unlocks cost-effective, efficient and scalable deployment systems designed with ease-of-use, rapid distribution and non-expert end-users in mind for real-world use where it matters the most.

 
 

OUR PURPOSE

Our team is working around the clock to design, develop and deploy Friendly™ mosquitoes to combat mosquito species that transmit deadly diseases around the world. It’s no small task, but our team is passionate about building cutting-edge biologically-engineered mosquitoes for communities around the world to use in their efforts to control mosquitoes that transmit diseases.

Using safe, proven, groundbreaking biotechnology, Oxitec’s team members are pioneers in the fight against harmful insect populations, including the mosquito species Aedes aegypti which spreads dengue fever, Zika and chikungunya. In fact, we just surpassed more than 1 billion mosquitoes produced for release globally, making our technology the most widely-deployed mosquito-based vector control technology in the world.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito is an increasingly global threat, now living alongside half of the world’s population. After decades of effort, there is still no cure or specific treatment for many diseases transmitted by Aedes aegypti, and 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.

And that’s where we come in. Oxitec’s Friendly™ technology can be used as a stand-alone control program or as part of an integrated pest management program to suppress Aedes aegypti in a way that is safe for humans, animals and the environment.

We are now entering the fight against malaria, targeting Anopheles stephensi and Anopheles albimanus, two malaria-transmitting mosquitoes that represent a threat to billions of people globally. Current tools and treatments are insufficient to achieve malaria prevention in many countries, and malaria vectors and parasites are developing resistance to insecticides and antimalarial drugs, respectively.

 
 
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Our Solution

Oxitec’s Friendly™ safe, non-biting male mosquitoes are designed to suppress local wild populations of disease-spreading mosquitoes. Friendly™ mosquitoes carry a self-limiting gene, which means that when Friendly™ mosquito males mate with wild females, their offspring inherit a copy of this gene, which prevents females from surviving to adulthood. Since these females do not mature to reproduce, there is a reduction in the wild pest population. Male offspring survive, carrying a copy of the self-limiting gene; in turn, these males pass the self-limiting gene to half of their offspring, of which female carriers of the gene cannot survive. Presence of the self-limiting gene thereby declines over time, potentially offering multiple but still self-limiting generations of suppression for every Friendly™ male mosquito released.

Read more about the technology here.

 

Our track record

Our Friendly™ mosquitoes have been released for more than a decade, generating a long track record of effectively suppressing Aedes aegypti in a range of settings. In both small- and large-scale pilot projects in countries like Brazil, Panama and the Cayman Islands, Friendly™ mosquitoes have suppressed wild populations by more than 90% relative to untreated areas – a level of control greater than that typically achieved with insecticides.

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