Genetically engineered mosquitoes can reduce disease-transmitting populations by 90%.
The real combat against the deadliest animal in the world, has just started.
Using advanced genetics and molecular biology Oxitec, has developed an innovative solution to controlling the dangerous mosquito, Aedes aegypti.
The solution harnesses the natural instincts of male mosquitoes to find females in the wild.
Oxitec has used genetic engineering to create ‘self-limiting’ male insects which seek out and mate with females. After a genetically modified male mosquito has successfully mated with a wild female, any offspring that result will not survive to adulthood, so the mosquito population declines.
Unlike conventional insecticides or pesticides, which kill insects indiscriminately, the Oxitec approach is targeted at a single species. This means that, as well as being more effective, it is much better for the environment than conventional tools.