Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Mosquitoes infected with bacteria to make them infertile released in battle against viruses

When the released males mate with wild female mosquitoes, the resulting eggs will not hatch 

Wednesday 31 January 2018 21:40 GMT

In order to fight Zika and other similar viruses, researchers are going to release thousands of sterilised mosquitoes in south Miami, Florida this week.

Researchers infected the male of the species with a bacteria in a lab and when they mate with females, the resulting eggs will die before hatching.

The Miami-Dade County Mosquito Reduction Test Program is a collaboration from the University of Kentucky and Kentucky-based company MosquitoMate.

The project is an attempt to reduce mosquito populations in the region without artificial genetic modification.

The bacteria used to infect the males, wolbachia, is a naturally-occurring substance in 60 per cent of insects including butterflies and dragonflies.

It is not harmful to humans.

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