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Mosquito research profiled in The Independent

27 January 2011

New research to control dengue fever, based on genetic approaches developed from BBSRC-funded science, is profiled in The Independent today (27 January).

Oxitec, the Oxford biotechnology company that gained founder Luke Alphey a runner up prize in BBSRC's 2009 Innovator of the Year competition, has developed a mosquito that helps to combat the deadly mosquito-borne virus, dengue fever.

Field experiments in Malaysia are testing the release of Oxitec's mosquitoes, which are genetically modified to introduce reduced fertility into the local population of the dengue-carrying mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti. And previous trials in the Cayman Islands showed that the numbers of Aedes aegypti are reduced by about 80% when Oxitec's mosquitoes are introduced.

If the new tests are successful, it would be good news for the approximately 2.5 billion people who are currently at risk of dengue fever, which is a growing problem in urban and semi-urban areas with tropical and sub-tropical climates.


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