EPA Registers the Wolbachia ZAP Strain in Live Male Asian Tiger Mosquitoes

On November 3, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency registered a new mosquito biopesticide – ZAP Males® – that can reduce local populations of the type of mosquito (Aedes albopictus, or Asian Tiger Mosquitoes) that can spread numerous diseases of significant human health concern, including the Zika virus.

ZAP Males® are live male mosquitoes that are infected with the ZAP strain, a particular strain of the Wolbachia bacterium. Infected males mate with females, which then produce offspring that do not survive. (Male mosquitoes do not bite people.) With continued releases of the ZAP Males®, local Aedes albopictus populations decrease. Wolbachia are naturally occurring bacteria commonly found in most insect species. Continue reading

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

Common bacterium may help control disease-bearing mosquitoes

 

Genes from a common bacterium can be harnessed to sterilize male insects, a tool that can potentially control populations of both disease-bearing mosquitoes and agricultural pests, researchers at Yale University and Vanderbilt University report in related studies published Feb. 27 in two Nature journals.

The studies highlight the peculiar reproductive role of Wolbachia bacteria, which are found in the testes and ovaries of most insect species. Eggs fail to develop when fertilized by infected males, a process called cytoplasmic incompatibility. However, when females are also infected with Wolbachia, healthy embryos can develop. Continue reading

Rio fights Zika with biggest release yet of bacteria-infected mosquitoes

In Nature online

by Ewen Callaway

Two South American metropolises are enlisting bacteria-infected mosquitoes to fight Zika, in the world’s biggest test yet of an unconventional yet promising approach to quell mosquito-borne diseases.

Mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia bacteria — which hinder the insects’ ability to transmit Zika, dengue and other viruses — will be widely released in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and MedellĂ­n, Colombia, over the next two years, scientists announced on 26 October. The deployments will reach around 2.5 million people in each city. Continue reading

UKAg researcher to develop artificial blood for mosquitoes

A “nuisance” is probably one of the nicest things people call mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have been called the deadliest animal on the planet, because of the diseases they spread. So why would researchers want to develop an artificial buffet for them?

The answer is simple. That “buffet” may lead to fewer mosquitoes. Stephen Dobson, a University of Kentucky professor of medical and veterinary entomology, believes his mosquito food can do just that. Others believe there’s promise too.

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Using Wolbachia to Control Mosquitoes

Entomology Today

Entomologists at the University of Kentucky were recently granted a permit from the Environmental Protection Agency to begin field trials of a new mosquito control method.

Professor Stephen Dobson developed technology that moves the bacterium Wolbachia between mosquito species. The new biological control method releases Wolbachia-infected males in a targeted area. The males then mate with females and render them sterile.

“In laboratory and greenhouse conditions, we can eliminate a population in just over eight weeks,” Dobson said. “Insecticides can still be used for a quick knock down once a mosquito population is already high, but the biological Wolbachia approach started early in the season can serve to keep the population low, prevent a population explosion, or even eliminate a population.”

The following video explains the new method:


Read more at:

– UK Collaboration to Test Biological Control of Mosquitoes

– UK researchers develop first of its kind way…

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Common Bacterium Stops Mosquitoes from Transmitting Dengue Virus

Strains of a bacterium commonly found in fruit flies can prevent the Aedes aegypti mosquito from transmitting the virus that causes dengue fever, researchers have found. Their discovery could lead to a more effective way to control dengue worldwide.

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