Aedes aegypti, the primary mosquito that carries Zika virus, may also transmit chikungunya and dengue viruses with one bite, a new study has found.
The findings shed new light on what is known as a co- infection, which scientists say is not yet fully understood and may be fairly common in areas experiencing outbreaks.
“A mosquito, in theory, could give you multiple viruses at once,” said Claudia Ruckert, post-doctoral researcher at Colorado State University (CSU) in the US.
The team infected mosquitoes in the lab with multiple kinds of viruses to learn more about the transmission of more than one infection from a single mosquito bite.
The researchers found that mosquitoes in the lab can transmit all three viruses simultaneously, although this is likely to be extremely rare in nature.
While they described the lab results as surprising, researchers said there is no reason to believe that these co- infections are more severe than being infected with one virus at a time.
“Dual infections in humans, however, are fairly common, or more common than we would have thought,” Ruckert said.
The researchers had expected to find that one virus would prove to be dominant and outcompete the others in the midgut of the mosquito where the infections establish and replicate before being transmitted to humans.
“It is interesting that all three replicate in a really small area in the mosquito’s body,” Ruckert said.
“When these mosquitoes get infected with two or three different viruses, there is almost no effect that the viruses have on each other in the same mosquito,” she said.
The first report of chikungunya and dengue virus co- infection occurred in 1967, researchers said. More recently, co-infections of Zika and dengue viruses, Zika and chikungunya, and all three viruses have been reported during various outbreaks, including the recent outbreak of Zika virus in North and South America.
Source: Daily Excelsior
Two studies out Monday show that the Zika virus may not be working alone in causing strange infections in South America. It may be getting help from dengue and chikungunya, too.
“One team found that mosquitoes can be infected with Zika and chikungunya at the same time and could, in theory, infect people with both viruses in a single bite.
“And a second team found a range of unusual symptoms in people in Brazil last year as Zika, chikungunya and dengue all swept through populations, often infecting people at the same time. One of the oddest is known as ‘dancing eyes-dancing feet syndrome.’
“The findings, presented at a meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, add to the growing list of mysterious and previously unsuspected damage that Zika virus causes.
“’Our analysis shows that each of these viruses may have the potential to cause a range of neurological complications, some very severe, and patients should be monitored for symptoms,’ said Dr. Isadora Siqueira of Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, who worked on one study.
“’What’s very difficult to determine is whether having a co-infection with two of these viruses increases the risk of neurological problems. We are still looking closely at the case of the patient who was infected with both chikungunya and dengue.’
“Dengue and Zika are closely related viruses called flaviviruses. Chikungunya is in a different family, called alphaviruses, but all three are spread by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and they can cause similar symptoms: fever, headache and body aches. Zika causes severe birth defects; dengue can cause a deadly hemorrhagic fever and chikungunya causes racking pain.
“They are not easy to tell apart and only with tests made available in recent months can doctors tell for sure which virus a patient has had.
“All three can also cause rare neurological side-effects and doctors have wondered if people get sicker if they become infected with more than one at the same time, or one after the other.
“The findings from northeastern Brazil suggest they may. They reported on 21 cases of neurological illnesses including Guillain-Barre syndrome, a strange, paralyzing condition that can be caused by a number of infections, including Zika.
“Most of the patients had classic Guillain-Barre, which usually clears up, although it can make patients seriously ill. Others had much more unusual conditions, including two with opsoclonus-myoclonue ataxia syndrome, commonly known as dancing eyes-dancing feet syndrome because of the strange, jerky movements it can cause.
“It usually only affects about 1 in a million people, but both cases turned up in the same hospital during an epidemic affecting 18,000 people.
“One of the two patients tested positive for both Zika and dengue, while the second had both chikungunya and dengue, Siqueira said.
“None of the patients died but it can take weeks or even months to fully recover from these conditions. Zika has killed a handful of patients, as has chikungunya. Dengue comes in four strains and is much deadlier.
“There’s a worry if the viruses work together to worsen illness. Brazilian doctors have been trying to determine if having two infections together or close together makes a pregnant woman more likely to have a baby with birth defects, for instance.”
Source: NBC News
Vaccinating against dengue fever could increase outbreaks of Zika, suggests new research. The study identifies a potentially serious public health concern. More than a third of the world’s population lives in areas where dengue is endemic and cases of co-infection with Zika have already been reported.
“The research identifies a potentially serious public health concern. More than a third of the world’s population lives in areas where dengue is endemic and cases of co-infection with Zika have already been reported
“Conducted at York University’s Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics using mathematical modelling, the research was led by Biao Tang, an exchange PhD student from Xi’an Jiaotong University, in collaboration with York Professor Jianhong Wu and Tang’s supervisor, Professor Yanni Xiao at Xi’an Jiaotong University. As dengue and Zika are both part of the Flaviviridae family transmitted through a common mosquito host, the researchers wanted to know how vaccinating for one would affect the incidence of the other.
“’Vaccinating against one virus could not only affect the control of another virus, it could in fact make it easier for the other to spread,’ says Wu. ‘Recent evidence suggests that dengue virus antibodies can enhance the Zika virus infection. For that reason, we developed a new math model to investigate the effect of dengue vaccination on Zika outbreaks.’
“The paper, ‘Implication of vaccination against dengue for Zika outbreak,’ was published in Scientific Reports.
“The team’s model shows that vaccinations for dengue increase the number of people contracting Zika. It also shows that the more people in a particular population that are vaccinated against dengue, the earlier and larger the Zika outbreak. The research also found that the most effective way to minimize the unintended effect of dengue vaccinations on Zika outbreaks is through an integrated strategy that includes mosquito control.
“’We concluded that vaccination against dengue among humans can significantly boost Zika transmission among the population and hence call for further study on integrated control measures on controlling dengue and Zika outbreak,’ says Xiao.
“The researchers note their findings do not discourage the development and promotion of dengue vaccine products, however, more work needs to be done to understand how to optimize dengue vaccination programs and minimize the risk of Zika outbreaks.
“According to the World Health Organization, the global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades, with about half of the world’s population now at risk. In some Asian and Latin American countries, severe dengue is a leading cause of serious illness and death among children. Whereas the outbreaks of Zika have occurred in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, and has been linked to microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Although vaccines for dengue have been developed and are in use, there is no vaccine for Zika.”
Source: Science Daily
“A joint study conducted by UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and UNC School of Medicine shows that individuals previously infected with dengue virus could have key antibodies that protect against the Zika virus.”
This important update from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “A new research study from University of North Carolina researchers shows that individuals who have been previously infected with a flavivirus – specifically dengue and Zika viruses – could have antibodies that protect against Zika.
“Those antibodies could be used to develop vaccines to protect against Zika, as well as therapies to treat the virus, according to the study, which was a collaboration between researchers at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and the UNC School of Medicine.
“The study, ‘"Dengue Virus Envelope Dimer Epitope Monoclonal Antibodies Isolated from Dengue Patients Are Protective against Zika Virus":http://mbio.asm.org/content/7/4/e01123-16,’ was published in the July/August issue of mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
Source: UNC Health Care and UNC School of Medicine
Antibodies vs dengue neutralize Zika virus, but also enhance Zika infection in lab
This Zika Virus update from Emory Health Sciences.
“Scientists at Emory Vaccine Center, in collaboration with investigators from Thailand, have found that people infected with dengue virus develop antibodies that cross-react with Zika virus.
“Some of these antibodies have the potential to neutralize Zika virus — possibly providing immune protection. At the same time, in laboratory experiments, antibodies against dengue could enhance Zika virus infection of human cells.
“Zika virus is similar genetically to dengue virus and part of the same flavivirus family. They are both transmitted by Aedes mosquitos. Dengue is endemic in several countries currently experiencing Zika outbreak, leading to proposals that pre-existing dengue immunity is influencing the severity of the Zika epidemic.
“’There are really two sides of the coin here: both cross-neutralization and antibody-dependent enhancement,’ says Jens Wrammert, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics (infectious diseases) at Emory University School of Medicine and Emory Vaccine Center. ‘We find antibody-mediated enhancement of infection with cells in the laboratory, but we have yet to clarify what effects these antibodies have on the outcome of infection in humans.’
“’Zika immune responses and disease severity may be different in dengue-endemic areas, or among dengue-experienced vs dengue-naïve groups. These factors must be taken into account when doing Zika vaccine or other clinical studies.’
There are four strains of dengue virus, and infection with one strain does not lead to long-lasting immunity against the other three. In fact, secondary infection with a different strain can increase the risk of developing a more severe illness, called dengue hemorrhagic fever.
“This is thought to happen through “antibody-dependent enhancement”: pre-existing antibodies to the first strain, unable to stop the secondary infection, instead bind to immune cells and help the new strain infect them.
“Emory scientists found that a similar phenomenon occurs with Zika. Antibodies obtained from nine dengue-infected patients at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok — both during acute infection and after recovery — could help Zika virus (a strain isolated in 2015 from Puerto Rico) infect immune cells in cell culture.
“’It will be important to know whether anti-dengue antibodies facilitate Zika virus penetrating the placental barrier and allowing access to the developing fetus,’ says co-author Mehul Suthar, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics (infectious disease) at Emory University School of Medicine and Emory Vaccine Center.
“All the serum samples tested were able to cross-react with Zika, both by binding and by neutralization. Nearly half the dengue-reactive monoclonal antibodies isolated bound to samples of Zika proteins. A bright spot for the future is that the team has identified potent Zika neutralizing antibodies.
“’Determining what part of the virus the various neutralizing antibodies target could help with design of vaccines or antibody-based therapies,’ Wrammert says.
Source: Science Daily
At Mosquito Squad, we pride ourselves on protecting our clients from the annoyance and dangers of mosquitoes and ticks. As the weather continues to warm up, we’ve seen an influx of requests for tick and mosquito control for the yard. And with news across the country of vector-borne disease, it is no surprise people are looking for ways to keep the bugs at bay.
Just last week, we discussed Chikungunya having been found in Florida and now new reports of dengue in the area have locals concerned over an outbreak. Dengue fever is a virus transmitted through the bite of a mosquito. Symptoms of dengue include rash, fever and muscle and joint pain. While there is no specific medication for dengue, patients that are able to stay hydrated are able to fight the disease successfully.
While Florida is being hit by these tropical mosquito-borne disease, early mosquito and bird tests in Illinois are positive for West Nile in the area. Many municipalities across the country catch and test mosquitoes. It not only helps them gauge how much municipal spraying is needed, but it also lets them know if mosquitoes carrying certain bacteria are present.
With an increase of ticks in many areas of the country, officials are concerned about the growing numbers of Lyme disease as well. From Michigan to Virginia to Vermont, local health officials are warning residents to be vigilant and take precautionary measures when spending outside in areas where ticks are known to be active.
Reducing your exposure to mosquitoes and ticks is the best way prevent vector-borne disease. At Mosquito Squad, we use a combination of mosquito spraying and tick tubes to cut down on the pest population on the property. Having continuous outdoor pest control, normally applied every 2-3 weeks, during the busy mosquito and tick months will reduce your mosquito population by 85-90%!
If you have questions on how to protect yourself from vector-borne disease, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
Mosquito-borne diseases are present in any area of the country and world where mosquitoes are active. While the diseases they carry are different depending on the areas of the world, many of them are dangerous and debilitating. Earlier this week, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) issued a warning against a painful mosquito-borne illness for any U.S. travelers to the Caribbean.
Ten people in the Caribbean have recently been diagnosed with Chikungunya virus. The CDC says it is “very likely” to end up in the United States. As CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden explains, “Microbes know no boundaries, and the appearance of chikungunya virus in the Western hemisphere represents another threat to health security. CDC experts have predicted and prepared for its arrival for several years and there are surveillance systems in place to help us track it.” Source.
The Asian tiger mosquito is a common carrier of Chikungunya. The tiger mosquito is easily recognizable by the black and white stripes on their legs.
Chikungunya symptoms can take days to display after being infected with the disease. Symptoms of the disease are very similar to those of dengue fever including a high fever, rash, headache, nausea and severe joint pain. The name Chikungunya comes from the Mankonde language and means, “that which bends up” because it can be very painful.
Chikungunya was first found in Africa but has been moving into Asia and Europe and now the Caribbean in recent years. So far there have been 109 travelers who have been diagnosed with Chikungunya in the United States and luckily it hasn’t spread since there.
With winter holidays and travel in full swing, the CDC issued a statement of warning: the “CDC estimated that about 9 million U.S. residents travel to the Caribbean each year. Given that volume of travelers, chikungunya could occur more frequently in returning U.S. mainland travelers if the virus expands in the region.” Source.
The CDC stated that it is possible for a single infected person to start an outbreak of the disease. While we aren’t in the height of mosquito season now, it will start again in just a few short months. At Mosquito Squad, we protect our clients from mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they carry with our mosquito control treatments. By treating your property for mosquitoes, your chances of being infected while spending time outside in your yard is decreased. If you have any questions, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that we don’t talk about too often, but it has made the news recently. Dengue is also known as the breakbone fever due to its severe muscle and joint pain and is considered a tropical disease that has, in the United States, been primarily found in Florida. In the last few weeks however, Texas and New York have reported cases of Dengue.
Dengue is transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. The Florida keys have a large Aedes aegypti population and suffered a Dengue outbreak in 2010. Now, local employees are considering a new method of decreasing the mosquito population with mixed feedback.
Michael Doyle is director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD). Its goal is to control the mosquito population in the keys, an area that has the pests all year round due to its warm weather. Having tried pesticides and more natural solutions such as dragonflies (a mosquito predator) with little success, Doyle would like to introduce genetically modified mosquitoes to the area.
British bioengineering company Oxitec is the leader in genetically modified mosquitoes. They inject male Aedes aegypti with what is referred to as a suicide gene. The gene prohibits the males’ offspring from maturing and kills them, thus cutting down on the mosquito population.
In 2009, Oxitec was criticized for releasing 3.3 million modified mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands without public consultation, however, the test displayed promising results. Since then, the company has expanded to Malaysia and Brazil.
When news that the city wanted to release modified mosquitoes in the Keys was announced, residents were anything but thrilled. They question the timing of such a radical step. The area hasn’t seen a dengue outbreak since 2010 and it seems too early to evaluate the long-term effects of genetically modified mosquitoes. As local resident, Mila del Mier stated, “why not keep the status quo and have more time for more studies?”
Doyle explains mosquito spraying isn’t as effective as they’d hope because municipal spraying cannot reach all the areas where mosquitoes hide.
We at Mosquito Squad are interested to see what comes from further tests of genetically modified mosquitoes. In the meantime, we will continue to protect our clients with our effective mosquito control spray. Our trained technicians focus on the areas where municipal spraying can’t reach, like heavy foliage on your yard.
If you have questions regarding professional mosquito control, please reach out to your local Mosquito Squad office.
Next week, June 23rd through June 29th, 2013 is Mosquito Control Awareness Week, sponsored by the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA). According to the AMCA, the goal of the week is to “educate the general public about the significance of mosquitoes in their daily lives and the important service provided by mosquito control workers.”
Anyone who has been bitten by a mosquito knows they are annoying. The bites swell, can itch for days and, if you are like me, you’ll scratch them over and over again making them last longer. Knowing how bothersome they are is one thing, but understanding the dangers of mosquitoes is another.
Some people may not understand how dangerous mosquitoes can be. Mosquitoes are the deadliest animal on the planet due to the diseases they transmit through their bites. We may not have a problem with malaria here in the United States anymore, but that doesn’t mean we are safe from mosquito-borne disease.
Last week we discussed West Nile virus and what to expect from this sometimes deadly disease, but with Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Dengue Fever, mosquitoes can make a lot of people ill in numerous ways. And let’s not forget our canine friends. Every year, dogs are infected with heartworm through the bite of a mosquito.
At Mosquito Squad, we often talk about our professional mosquito control services, but it is important for people to understand the best ways to protect themselves against mosquitoes when they leave their protected yard. The first step is to understand mosquitoes.
While they are most active at dawn and dusk, they are out and about at all times of the day. They are usually found in areas with more mature vegetation as they feed mainly on plants (female mosquitoes need blood meals to lay their eggs).
If you are going to enjoy the sun around some water, make sure that water isn’t stagnant. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, but the eggs won’t survive in moving water. They don’t usually travel far from their breeding grounds, so if there is a lot of standing water in a certain area, there will be a lot of mosquitoes.
Cover up. If you are going to be in an area where you know there will be mosquitoes, consider wearing a loose long sleeve shirt and pants. Loose clothing is harder for mosquitoes to bite you through.
When it comes to your backyard, your best protection is mosquito treatments for your yard. Mosquito Squad’s mosquito barrier spray kills adult mosquitoes on contact and provides 21 days of protection thereafter. By spraying the areas that mosquitoes are known to feed and live, we are able to get rid of 85-90% of mosquitoes on your property. If you aren’t satisfied with the results, we’ll come back and spray your yard again.
If you have any questions on Mosquito Control Awareness Week or how you can protect yourself and your friends and family from these annoying (an dangerous) pests, contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
Key West, the most southern tip of the continental U.S., is one step closer to experimenting with genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the risk of dengue fever. And some residents and tourists don’t like it.
Dengue fever is a disease transmitted by the mosquito specie Aedes aegypti and is more common in tropical locations. Victims of the disease, also known as breakbone fever, display symptoms such as fever, headache, rashes and severe muscle and joint pain. It was thought to be eradicated in the Keys until 93 new cases emerged in 2009 and 2010 (source).
As a result of the influx of new dengue cases, mosquito control officials along with Oxitec, a British company, have filed a trial with the FDA to hopefully help with the problem. In the experiment, genetically modified male Aedes aegypti would be released in Key West to mate with females. The resulting eggs, however, would be unable to reach maturity due to a birth defect the male would pass on. They hope that after a few generations the mosquito specie would die off and eradicate the risk of dengue fever.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have not only caused illness in Key West, but they are also a huge cost. They are a strong mosquito specie that is harder to kill with pesticides. Instead, Key West inspectors go door-to-door getting rid of standing water where they are known to breed. This process is both time-consuming and expensive, costing the district $1 million a year. “’Unfortunately, control of Aedes aegypti is a never-ending job,’ said Larry Hriber, the mosquito control district’s research director.” Source.
Key West residents and tourists alike are against the use of genetically modified mosquitoes. They worry that there hasn’t been enough background research done and that the modified material may somehow be passed on to humans or the ecosystem. One local real estate agent, Mila de Mier, posted a petition on change.org to fight the test and has received more than 115,000 signatures. “We are dependent here on our tourists, and people from all over the country have been sending the message,” says de Mier (source).
It may be years before the FDA rules on the whether or not Key West will be able to deploy the mosquito control test. At Mosquito Squad, we use effective mosquito control solutions to protect our clients against the annoyance of mosquitoes and the dangerous diseases they may carry. If you have questions about how to protect your property, please contact your local Mosquito Squad office.
Recent research by University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt University professors have brought the medical world one step closer to creating a vaccine to prevent Dengue Fever.
Although it is believed that humans have been fighting the dengue virus for hundreds of years, it wasn’t documented until the 1950s when it reached epidemic levels in the Philippines and Thailand. Sixty years later and it is estimated that 40% of the world’s population is at risk of dengue. Almost all the cases that were diagnosed in the United States had been contracted elsewhere while traveling. Contact between the mosquitoes that carry dengue is very uncommon in the U.S.
The dengue virus is transmitted through the bites of several types of mosquitoes under the genus Aedes which primarily live in tropical and subtropical environments. Symptoms of dengue can start 4-7 days after infection and include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain and rashes. In a small number of cases, the fever can reach a critical phase. There are four closely related strands of the virus and severe cases are more common when a person is infected with two different strands of dengue.
Until now, how the human immune system fights the dengue virus has always been somewhat of a mystery because tests had only been conducted with mice. For this study, Aravinda M. de Silva, PHD. Of UNC School of Medicine, was able to study blood cells from people that were infected with dengue while traveling abroad. De Silva and her team were able to locate what part of the virus the immune system attacked.
“’This is a huge issue for vaccine development,’ said lead study author Ruklanthi de Alwis, a graduate student in de Silva’s lab. ‘We have to figure out a way to develop dengue vaccines that induce the good response that protects against infection, at the same time avoiding the bad response that enhances disease.’” – source.
With nearly half of the world’s population at risk of contracting this vector-borne disease, it’s great news to see a better understanding of how the virus works in the human body and how our immune systems respond. Until then it is important for residents to decrease the probability of being bitten by a mosquito buy getting rid of breeding sites and proper use of mosquito control.
More information on this study will be published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Happy New Year!
One interesting part of starting a new year is always to look over the “best of” lists: Best celebrity weddings, best technology improvements, most fascinating people, etc. Discover Magazine annually puts out the “Top 100 Stories” of the year before. This year, several of Dread Skeeter’s nemeses made the list.
#90: Chronic Lyme Patients Validated
Diagnosing Lyme disease can often be difficult as its symptoms are very similar to other ailments, and in the case of post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome, some patients have been told they either have chronic fatigue syndrome or are perfectly fine. Well, in 2011 immunologist Steven Schutzer was able to prove that there is a difference between patients with chronic fatigue and post-treatment Lyme patients, proving the syndrome does exist.
#47: Ending Dengue
According to the Center for Disease Control, 2.5 billion people live in areas where Dengue Fever is present in mosquitoes, resulting in severe headaches, joint, muscle and bone pain and in some cases death. Australian scientists believe they may have the answer. When they injected mosquitoes with the Wolbachia bacterium, the insect was unable to transmit Dengue. 2011 tests proved optimistic when the bacteria was proved to be passed on through reproduction.
#28: Hepatitis B Boosts Malaria Vaccine
Past malaria vaccines haven’t shown great promise in trial, but a new GlaxoSmithKline test is showing a 50% success rate. The vaccine tricks the body into protecting against malaria by heightening the immune system via hepatitis proteins. With the trial running through 2014, we at Mosquito Squad are interested to see how it can help against Africa’s fight against malaria.
#13 Can Gut Bacteria Stop the Spread of Malaria
George Dimopoulos of Johns Hopkins University has found that the Enterobacter bacterium, when ingested by a mosquito, renders that mosquito unable to transmit malaria by killing a parasite that causes malaria. It was a happy mistake that hopefully leads to a cut in the number of malaria cases in future years.
2011 was a big year in the mosquito and tick world. Here’s hoping that 2012 brings the same, but as long as you are bothered by mosquitoes and ticks, Dread Skeeter and Mosquito Squad are here to protect you, your family and your friends.
Anyone who has ever itched or scratched due to a mosquito bite, knows the nasty pest is annoying, but they are now becoming more and more dangerous. According to MedPage today, more than 24 cases of locally acquired Dengue Fever have been diagnosed in Key West, Florida over the past 9 months. Read the complete article here.
Transmitted by mosquitoes, Dengue Fever, is most commonly found in tropical environments and causes severe fever, joint pain and rash. What makes this rise in cases worrisome is that they were transmitted in the United States. Normally when cases are diagnosed in the US the patient has traveled to areas where it is more common.
As a result of the Dengue cases in Key West, officials have ramped up mosquito control. As insect-borne diseases become more and more prevalent, it’s important to learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones from potentially harmful mosquitoes. Visit the Mosquito Squad website to learn more about different ways to keep mosquitoes away.
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.