GM mosquitoes fire first salvo against Zika virus

Author(s): Waltz E


A Brazilian city in January became the first to approve a program to grow transgenic mosquitoes for their release into the environment as a public health measure against the Zika virus outbreak. The city of Piracicaba in Brazil said it would work in collaboration with the Milton Park, UK–based Oxitec to scale up release of transgenic Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the main vector for the Zika, dengue and Chikungunya viruses, and build a new production facility there. With no Zika vaccine in sight, government officials across the globe are pondering strategies that suppress the mosquito populations to thwart the spread of infection. US and Chinese regulators both green-lighted field tests for vector control strategies involving nontransgenic Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.

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