Using Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Mosquito-Borne Diseases
U.S. health regulators said a genetically engineered mosquito being used in the fight against Zika will not have a significant impact on the environment, possibly paving the way for the technique to be used in the country.
The self-limiting strain of the Aedes aegypti mosquito was developed by Oxitec, the U.K.-subsidiary of U.S. synthetic biology company Intrexon Corp. The male mosquitoes are modified so their offspring will die before reaching adulthood and being able to reproduce.
Preliminary findings of an investigational trial by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration conducted in the Florida Keys region ruled that the genetically modified mosquitoes will not have a significant impact on the environment, effectively agreeing with an environmental assessment submitted by Oxitec.