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Scientists Study Sterile Mosquitoes to Fight Disease

We all know that mosquitoes are annoying. They bite for just a few seconds and we may itch for days. Not only are they irritating, but they can also be dangerous. Mosquitoes can carry many diseases, including Malaria, West Nile, and Dengue Fever and transmit them through bites. With insect-borne diseases on the rise around the world, scientists are looking for ways to decrease the number of bugs carrying the illnesses. I found a Wellcome Trust article on a unique method.

Scientists at Oxford based company Oxitect Ltd. are now sterilizing mosquitoes:

“These mosquitoes, which do not bite or spread disease, are then released to mate with wild females. No viable offspring can result from these matings and as a result, the mosquito population is reduced below the threshold level that is required to transmit the disease.” – Click here to see the entire article.

As odd as this first sounded to me, the potential is huge. If scientists could sterilize enough mosquitoes to release in largely impacted areas, it could help a ton of people. Until that day occurs though, I’m going to depend on good ole Dread Skeeter to protect me and my family.

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