Panama to use transgenic mosquitoes in anti-dengue bid

January 15, 2014
Police stand guard at the residence of Panama's former dictador Manuel Antonio Noriega, as it is demolished on January 9, 2014 following a decision by the Health Ministry which considers it a breeding site of the Aedes mosquito that transmits dengue

Panama will try to control a dengue outbreak that has claimed six lives this year by releasing transgenic mosquitoes to render infertile female transmitters of the disease, officials said.

Health Ministry director Carlos Galvez told AFP the technique has "shown promise" in Brazil and the Cayman Islands.

In Panama, it is being run by the Instituto Gorgas tropical research institute.

"The GM male mosquitoes have contact with the females that transmit dengue; then the eggs the (non-GM) females lay no longer produce (dengue-)transmitting mosquitoes," he explained.

Galvez said the GM mosquitoes are not a danger to humans because they do not feed on blood, but rather on fruit.

GM mosquitoes live for just a week, while normal ones live for a month.

The ministry plans to release the GM bugs in two weeks, numbering in the hundreds for each estimated dengue-transmitting female.

Explore further: Brazil to breed GM mosquitoes to combat dengue

Related Stories

Brazil to breed GM mosquitoes to combat dengue

July 10, 2012

Brazil said Monday it will breed huge numbers of genetically modified mosquitoes to help stop the spread of dengue fever, an illness that has already struck nearly 500,000 people this year nationwide.

Costa Rica issues health alert over dengue

July 3, 2013

Costa Rica on Tuesday declared a health alert due to a dengue fever outbreak which has claimed three lives and infected about 12,000 people so far this year, authorities said.

Dengue outbreak kills 23 in Pakistan

September 26, 2013

An outbreak of dengue fever in northwest Pakistan's Swat valley has killed 23 people in the past month, but health officials said Thursday it was likely to subside as the weather cools in the coming weeks.

Recommended for you

Kidney stone? Try a roller coaster ride

September 27, 2016

(HealthDay)—Anyone who's suffered a kidney stone just wants the urinary obstruction gone. Now, preliminary research suggests relief might even be fun: a roller coaster ride.

The 'love hormone' may quiet tinnitus

September 23, 2016

(HealthDay)—People suffering from chronic ringing in the ears—called tinnitus—may find some relief by spraying the hormone oxytocin in their nose, a small initial study by Brazilian researchers suggests.

Bile acid uptake inhibitor prevents NASH / fatty liver in mice

September 21, 2016

Drugs that interfere with bile acid recycling can prevent several aspects of NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis) in mice fed a high-fat diet, scientists from Emory University School of Medicine and Children's Healthcare of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.