Sterile mosquitoes best weapon against Zika virus. But will program continue?

From The Fresno Bee
November 14, 2018

A Fresno County experiment to trick female mosquitoes to mate with sterile males has been so successful in reducing the number of mosquitoes that can carry Zika and dengue viruses that it could become a staple in the mosquito-fighting world, if funding can be found to expand it.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, a day-biting mosquito, has proven difficult to suppress with traditional mosquito-control techniques, such as spraying. But the field study, which mated female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with sterile males, reduced the number of biting females by more than 95 percent during peak mosquito season.

The 2018 study results are encouraging, said Jodi Holeman, scientific services control director at Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District in Clovis. “With all the other strategies and control methods that we’ve put toward this mosquito there hasn’t been a single one that has been as effective as the release of the sterile mosquitoes.”

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