Oxitec wins approval to release GMO mosquitoes in US - FaunaClassifieds
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Herps In The News Local or national articles where reptiles or amphibians have made it into the news media. Please cite sources.

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Old 06-17-2020, 06:41 PM   #1
bcr229
Oxitec wins approval to release GMO mosquitoes in US

I am of two minds about this. On one hand I hate mosquitos as much as they seem to love me, or my blood anyway.

OTOH there are a ton of birds, other insects, reptiles, etc. that feed on them so if the mosquito population drops significantly then how will the rest of the food chain be affected?

Oxitec wins approval to release GMO mosquitoes in US
 
Old 06-17-2020, 08:18 PM   #2
Socratic Monologue
The article says that they will only be releasing (and thus, only controlling) Aedes aegypti, which is an invasive non-native species. This wouldn't affect the food chain except insofar as some native fauna (and flora, I suppose) may have become adapted to benefiting from the invasive species in some way.
 
Old 06-17-2020, 11:54 PM   #3
bcr229
Ah, well that's a relief. In that case, kill all the little SOB's.
 
Old 06-18-2020, 08:48 PM   #4
Helenthereef
Not certain if this is the exact same project, but we had something very similar sent out to use over here in Fiji (South Pacific) more than a year ago.

Ours was mosquito eggs infected with the Wolbachia bacteria:

"WHEN AEDES AEGYPTI MOSQUITOES CARRY NATURAL BACTERIA CALLED WOLBACHIA, THEY REDUCE THE MOSQUITOES’ ABILITY TO TRANSMIT VIRUSES LIKE DENGUE, ZIKA, CHIKUNGUNYA AND YELLOW FEVER. FIND OUT HOW."

https://www.worldmosquitoprogram.org...d/how-it-works

At first I was sceptical, thinking that we, as a small island state, might be part of an experimental trial, but after doing my research, it seems legit, and was rolled out in Australia before being given to us, so we went along and released the eggs.

So far we still have some Dengue fever outbreaks, but hopefully the bacterium will spread and at least lessen the disease outbreaks, which can be a real problem in the tropics. We haven't seen any adverse effects of doing it.

One issue is that apparently the dengue-carrying mosquito doesn't usually travel far, staying within 100m of its original location, so everyone does need to do it in their own locations if it is to work.
 
Old 06-18-2020, 08:52 PM   #5
Helenthereef
To add to that - it doesn't kill the mosquitoes, just reduces the virus' ability to reproduce inside them, so unfortunately for us, but maybe fortunately for insect eating animals, will not lower the number of mosquitoes, just their ability to carry dengue and other fevers.
 
Old 06-18-2020, 08:53 PM   #6
Helenthereef
From the Website:



How our Wolbachia method works
Our Wolbachia method is simple.

We discovered that when Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry Wolbachia, the bacteria compete with viruses like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.

This makes it harder for viruses to reproduce inside the mosquitoes. And the mosquitoes are much less likely to spread viruses from person to person.

This means that when Aedes aegypti mosquitoes carry natural Wolbachia bacteria, the transmission of viruses like dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever is reduced.

So, at the World Mosquito Program, we breed Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes. Then, in partnership with local communities, we release them into areas affected by mosquito-borne diseases.

Which means less risk of disease in communities where we work
 
Old 06-18-2020, 08:57 PM   #7
Helenthereef
And it turns out that US AID was one of the donors, so maybe we HAVE pre-tested it for you...
 
Old 06-18-2020, 09:13 PM   #8
Socratic Monologue
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helenthereef View Post
To add to that - it doesn't kill the mosquitoes, just reduces the virus' ability to reproduce inside them, so unfortunately for us, but maybe fortunately for insect eating animals, will not lower the number of mosquitoes, just their ability to carry dengue and other fevers.
It is cool that there are a number of methods for controlling these sorts of diseases. In the Florida case, it seems that the released mosquitoes carry a gene that causes their offspring to fail to reach reproductive maturity, thus reducing the species' overall population numbers.

All I can do here in Wisconsin, which I do regularly, is go outside at night and tell the bats how much I appreciate them being here.
 
Old 06-18-2020, 09:16 PM   #9
Helenthereef
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
All I can do here in Wisconsin, which I do regularly, is go outside at night and tell the bats how much I appreciate them being here.
 
Old 06-18-2020, 10:14 PM   #10
bcr229
Quote:
Originally Posted by Socratic Monologue View Post
All I can do here in Wisconsin, which I do regularly, is go outside at night and tell the bats how much I appreciate them being here.
I love our bats! So cool watching them in the evenings.

And if this effort does work then it's preferable to pesticides.
 

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