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Modified Mosquitoes Used To Contain Dengue Fever

From One America News Network

Brazilian scientists release the first batch of “modified mosquitoes” in an effort to contain the spread of dengue fever.

The scientists infected millions of mosquitoes with a bacteria, which prevents the insects from transmitting the disease to humans. Continue reading

Floodwater mosquitoes may be a problem in areas of heavy rain

Southwest Farm Press

by Leilana McKindra, Southwest Farm Press

A wave of dangerous storms that recently rolled through the state brought large amounts rain and snow, and may have sparked a rise in the population of giant pests known as floodwater mosquitoes.

Common in Oklahoma, floodwater mosquitoes, sometimes called gallinippers, can grow up to six times larger than common mosquitoes. Continue reading

Texas A&M garners $10 million grant to establish center, fight vector-borne diseases

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Texas A&M AgriLife recently received a substantial monetary boost to bolster its aggressive fight to stem the spread of vector-borne diseases for the public good, said Dr. David Ragsdale, Texas A&M University entomology department head at College Station.

Ragsdale said the $10 million five-year grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will be used to establish the Western Gulf Coast Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases. Continue reading

Genetically-modified mosquitoes released in Caymen Islands

The first wave of genetically modified mosquitoes were released Wednesday in the Cayman Islands as part of a new effort to control the insect that spreads Zika and other viruses, officials in the British Island territory said.

Genetically altered male mosquitoes, which don’t bite but are expected to mate with females to produce offspring that die before reaching adulthood, were released in the West Bay area of Grand Cayman Island, according to a joint statement from the Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit and British biotech firm Oxitec. Continue reading

USDA Pest Management Program Targets Virus-transmitting Mosquitoes

By Sandra Avant, Agricultural Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their collaborators recently completed an area-wide pest management program targeting the Asian tiger mosquito (ATM), Aedes albopictus, which can transmit viruses such as dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and Zika.

The six-year project, which demonstrated effective strategies to control the ATM in New Jersey, was a partnership between researchers at USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology (CMAVE) in Gainesville, Florida; Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the Mercer and Monmouth County Mosquito Control agencies. Entomologists at CMAVE’s Mosquito and Fly Research Unit also worked with economists at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, to convey important public health and socio-economic benefits of mosquito control. Continue reading

UK entomologist leads Zika solution effort

By Katie Pratt, University of Kentucky

A University of Kentucky entomologist is  leading an international effort to find long-term, sustainable control options to effectively manage a mosquito known to transport several potential deadly viruses, including the Zika virus.

Grayson Brown, entomologist in the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, is a former president of the Entomological Society of America, the world’s largest entomological organization. Brown along with Luciano Moriera of Brazil, are organizing a meeting of the world’s entomological societies March 13 in Maceió,Alagoas, Brazil. There, the world’s leading mosquito experts will discuss collaborative control options for Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits Zika virus, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever. Continue reading

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know About its Vector – The Aedes aegypti Mosquito

This document was posted by the Entomological Society of America.

The Zika virus, originally from Africa, first appeared in the Western hemisphere on Chile’s Easter Island in 2014 and was initially found on the mainland in Brazil in April 2015. Since then, it has spread very rapidly throughout Latin America and is now found as far north as northeastern Mexico. Though infection of healthy adults does not produce symptoms as severe as other mosquito-borne diseases like dengue or chikungunya, it appears to be linked to microcephaly in babies born to mothers infected in the first trimester of pregnancy. To date, the incidence of microcephaly, a condition in which children are born with an abnormally small head and potential issues in brain development, in Brazil has increased significantly since the Zika virus began to circulate there. Continue reading