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No More Dengue? Scientists Develop New Anti-Mosquito Strategies

Aug 02, 2016 03:53 AM EDT
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Dengue fever is one of the deadly illnesses caused by the dengue virus via vectors like mosquitoes. In line with this, researchers are working on new strategies that manage these pests.

Fraunholfer scientists in GieBen are now developing species-specific strategies that help management mosquitoes, Breaking News Point has learned. As per the publication, such strategies do not rely on utilization of environmental toxins and they aim to recover the declining success rate of other traditional methods.

Fraunhofer Institue for Molecular Biology's Professor Marc F. Schetelig and his team are the people behind the development of the new strategy. In a statement, as cited by Science Daily, Schetelig said that they had to keep the females on a diet of cow's or pig's blood, which was served at 37 degrees Celsius, which they got directly from the abattoir. According to Schetelig, the method helped them lay their eggs, which they put in bowls of water, where the larvae hatch and pupate.

An expert on the sterile insect technique or SIT, Schetelig, along with his team, is developing strategies that heighten the efficiency of the aforementioned technique. In SIT, the researchers utilize a number of sterile males, which they mass release to kill the population of the insect pests.

Schetelig has also created a genetic system that prevents the flies' offspring to thrive after the embryonic stage. In this system, the male flies mate with the females and this results to fertilized eggs that do not produce larvae. This can be reversed with the use of the antibiotic tetracycline, which is included to the flies diet for them to rear successfully in the laboratory.

As per Schetelig, the new system in the works does not necessitate antibiotics to rear larva, adding that only a small amount of the medication is required for the adult flies. Hence, the head research found that no antibiotics will be transferred to the environment.

Know more about the sterile insect technique here.

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