Miami-Dade Releases Wolbachia Male Mosquitoes to Fight Zika

From Efficient Gov
February 5, 2018

Miami-Dade County officially launched a mosquito reduction test program in a south Miami neighborhood that will release Wolbachia male mosquitoes through the summer.

The Kentucky firm MosquitoMate has begun releasing Wolbachia male mosquitoes, officially launching the Miami-Dade County Mosquito Reduction Test Program in the city of South Miami, as a preemptive fight against Zika virus in 2018. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved biotechnology product, sold as the ZAP Mosquito, will be released regularly in the Twin Lakes neighborhood through July.

According to a statement posted on the company’s website, “The Wolbachia male mosquitoes do not bite or blood feed and are incapable of transmitting pathogens that cause human disease. The released male mosquitoes mate with female mosquitoes in the area, and the resulting eggs do not hatch, which can reduce the mosquito population that can transmit mosquito-borne viruses. MosquitoMate male mosquitoes are not genetically modified. Instead, the MosquitoMate method relies on Wolbachia, which is a naturally-occurring bacterium present in up to 60 percent of all the different species of insects around us, including some mosquitoes. It is not infectious and cannot be transmitted to any warm-blooded animals or humans.”

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