FDA Issues Final Guidance Clarifying FDA and EPA Jurisdiction over Mosquito-Related Products

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finalized guidance to provide information on FDA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) jurisdiction over the regulation of mosquito-related products intended to function as pesticides, including those produced through the use of biotechnology.

Read more: https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm578420.htm

FDA approves first U.S. treatment for Chagas disease

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced yesterday that it has granted accelerated approval for the nation’s first treatment for Chagas disease, a parasitic infection caused by Trypanosoma cruzi spread by kissing bugs that has increasingly been found in the United States, especially in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley area.

The drug benznidazole, made by Chemo Research, SL, of Madrid, is approved for use in children ages 2 to 12 years old who have Chagas disease. Its safety and efficacy were shown in two placebo-controlled clinical trials in children 6 to 12 years old. An additional study in kids ages 2 to 12 helped set dosing recommendations. Stomach pain, rash, decreased weight, and headache were among the most common adverse reactions, and the drug was associated with some serious risks, including skin reactions, nervous system effects, and bone marrow depression.  Continue reading

The spread of mosquito borne diseases in the U.S.

Excerpted from Entomology Today

A team of researchers from Brazil and Argentina propose several ideas for the many mosquito-borne disease outbreaks in a paper recently published in the Journal of Medical Entomology. Continue reading

New discovery may improve future mosquito control

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

Major rainfall across most of Texas triggering hordes of mosquitos coupled with seemingly constant mosquito-related Zika virus media reports from around the globe may have set the stage perfectly for what one researcher deems as a very significant discovery in man’s war against earth’s leading human disease carrier.

Dr. David Ragsdale, head of the entomology department at Texas A&M University, College Station, credits Dr. Patricia Pietrantonio, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Fellow in the entomology department at College Station, along with her students and colleagues from other institutions, with discovering a receptor on the legs of mosquitoes that when activated, keeps female mosquitoes from taking a sugar meal and makes them fly away. Continue reading

AgriLife Extension sets Vector Management Workshops across Texas

By Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service will conduct 10 Vector Management Workshops across the state from March 8 to June 3, coordinators said.

“The workshops are specifically designed to train personnel in cities and municipalities who are in the field of mosquito abatement,” said Dr. Sonja Swiger, AgriLife Extension entomologist at Stephenville. “All the workshops will have the same 8:30 a.m. -3 p.m. times and curriculum. That curriculum is tailored to educate personnel on mosquito identification, biology ecology, tactics, trap usage, surveillance and control.” Continue reading

Short answers to hard questions about Zika virus

Thanks to Don Baumgartner of US EPA and Liz Dykstra, PhD, of the Washington state Health Department.

The New York Times posted an article on February 12 with 18 questions about the Zika virus. If you want more information about this new mosquito-transmitted disease, go to the article and click on the links. There is also a video on the page.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/health/what-is-zika-virus.html?_r=1 Continue reading

New Orleans pests beware: city’s mosquito, rodent and termite control board fights to make city’s buildings pest free

I’ve written several stories about how IPM changes the environment of a school or building when pests are no longer harassing the people inside the building. I’ve also passed along recommendations from specialists on how people can make buildings uninviting for pests. So when I went to New Orleans in April to help present a Friends of Southern IPM Implementer Award to the New Orleans Mosquito, Rodent and Termite Control Board, I wanted to see for myself how their work in IPM has changed the city.

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The world’s deadliest animal

Lions, tigers and bears have got nothing on this tiny creature that all of us see every summer in our backyards. Of all of the vicious creatures in the world, from the deadly lionfish to human beings, mosquitoes kill more people every year than any other creature. According to a writer at the Gates Notes, malaria alone kills 600,000 people a year. Another 125,000 are killed by other mosquito-transmitted viruses.

Click here to read the article.

Spending the Summer with Mosquitoes

Asian tiger mosquito

image provided by Bugwood.org

Ah, summer! Vacations have started, pools are already crowded and the mosquitoes are biting. The intense heat that has plagued the east coast seems to have made this year’s mosquitoes more plentiful and vicious. For anyone who wants to know how to reduce the number of mosquitoes in his or her yard (although it’s virtually impossible), the Web has hundreds of suggestions on mosquitoes control. If you’re in the South, go to the list at the bottom of the page to find a fact sheet on mosquitoes for your state.

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