FROM THE FIELD: ‘Major breakthrough’ in fight against diseases spread by mosquitos

27 June 2020

The UN nuclear agency (IAEA) has announced a major breakthrough in the bid to scale up technology designed to suppress disease-carrying mosquitos, and bring  dengue, yellow fever and Zika under control.

Anopheles mosquitos in the lab of the KEMRI/CDC research institute outside Kisumu, Kenya.
Anopheles mosquitos in the lab of the KEMRI/CDC research institute outside Kisumu, Kenya., by Sven Torfinn/WHO 2016

A study has shown that the use of a specialized drone, developed by IAEA and partners, to release tens of thousands of male mosquitoes, sterilized by using radiation, is effective: many of the sterilized males mate with females, who then produce no offspring, reducing the mosquito population over time.

The drones are cheaper than manual ground releases, and cover a much wider area, leading to hopes of a reduction in mosquito-borne diseases almost anywhere: a smaller, lighter version of the drone designed to meet stringent regulations for flights over urban areas, is also being developed.

Find out more by reading the full story here.
 

 

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