Scientists say they almost removed disease-carrying mosquitoes on two islands in China utilizing a brand new method. The drawback: It is probably not practical for larger areas and will price some huge cash.
Within the experiment, researchers targeted Asian tiger mosquitoes, invasive white-striped bugs that may spread dengue fever, Zika, and different diseases. They used a novel method for pest control: First, they infected the bugs with a virus-fighting bacterium, after which zapped them with a small dose of radiation.
Zapping is supposed to sterilize the mosquitoes. And releasing mosquitoes infected with a bacterial pressure not present in wild mosquitoes would stop them from reproducing. Mosquitoes have to have the same kind to make young that will survive. Or 18 weeks in 2016 and 2017, the group led by Zhiyong Xi at Michigan State University launched male mosquitoes onto two small islands close to Guangzhou, China, an area suffering from dengue fever. The variety of feminine mosquitoes liable for disease unfold plummeted by 83% to 94% every year, much like other strategies like spraying pesticides and utilizing genetically modified mosquitoes. Some weeks, there have been no signs of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
No approach thus far has had that type of success, Xi mentioned.
The issue, although, was that it required swarming the islands with plenty of mosquitoes, as much as 4 million every week. Over the two years, the quantity totaled to around 200 million mosquitoes launched.
The findings seem on Wednesday in the journal Nature.