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Published on 04/11/2016
Published on 11/19/2015
Release of Transgenic Mosquitoes against Dengue and Zika Advances in Brazil
06/09/2017 - 15h28
FROM SÃO PAULO
After the success in Piracicaba (São Paulo) with its transgenic Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, Oxitec is likely to release them to fly higher and further, perhaps even in other Brazilian states.
Some of the potential cities that could receive the modified mosquito include Juiz de Fora (Minas Gerais) and Búzios (Río Janeiro).
As the new mosquito cannot be commercialized yet – it has not been authorized by the Anvisa, the National Health Surveillance Agency, for this purpose – the release of the modified Aedes aegypti occurs under a research project in partnerships between the company and City Halls.
The secretary of the health care department of Juiz de Fora, Elizabeth Jucá, told Folha that the company has been negotiating with the local government since 2015 and that the partnership contract is likely to be signed shortly.
The city's health care department says that the City Hall will pay R$ 330,000 ( US$ 100,000) per year for four years.
Here is how the Aedes aegypti is modified:
1 - Change
Researchers introduce a new gene in the mosquito with the formula to produce a protein that kills its descendants while they are still larvae.
2 - Selection
The embryos are developed in laboratories and the modified insects are identified with a fluorescent marker.
3 - Descendants
The male mosquitoes are isolated to be released and mate with the female species living in the region. Their offspring do not survive.
Translated by THOMAS MUELLO