Scientists say they almost eliminated illness-carrying mosquitoes on two islands in China utilizing a brand new technique. The downside: It may not be practical for more significant areas and might cost some huge cash.
Within the experiment, researchers targeted Asian tiger mosquitoes, invasive white-striped bugs that may spread dengue fever, Zika, and other illnesses. They used a novel strategy for pest management: First, they contaminated the bugs with a virus-fighting bacterium, and then 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 must have an identical type to make young that may survive.
For 18 weeks in 2016 and 2017, the team led by Zhiyong Xi at Michigan State University launched male mosquitoes onto two small islands close to Guangzhou, China, a region plagued by dengue fever. The variety of female mosquitoes accountable for illness spread plummeted by 83% to 94% each year, just like other methods like spraying pesticides and utilizing genetically modified mosquitoes. Some weeks, there were no indicators of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes both buzzed in or matured from young larvae to switch those that died. It’s going to require fixed monitoring and, doubtlessly, some huge cash, Lovett stated.
Prices will go down because the technology advances, the researchers stated. They estimate it might vary from $42 to $66 per acre of land per year. That’s on par with agricultural pest sterilization strategies and cheaper than some insecticides, which mosquitoes are more and more changing into resistant to, Xi mentioned.
The workforce has an ongoing project in an area of roughly four occasions larger than their original sites.