Science bites back . . . Chinese trial wipes out 99% of deadly mosquitoes

From The Times
July 19, 2019

Chinese scientists say they have almost eradicated a virus-carrying mosquito from two islands by releasing infected males into the population.

It is hoped that the study will give officials new tools to fight diseases such as dengue fever and zika.

Asian tiger mosquitoes were exposed to gamma radiation and infected with strains of a parasitic bacterium, according to the journal Nature. Two hundred million of the infertile insects were released on the islands of Shazai and Dadaosha in southeast China.

Female mosquitoes only mate once, so if the male is infertile she will not reproduce. At the end of the two-year trial the native mosquito populations were largely gone.

The work “almost eliminated a notoriously difficult-to-control vector mosquito from the test sites”, Peter Armbruster, a…