Brazils fight against dengue might soon be over
Published By : 01 Jul 2014 | Published By : QYRESEARCH
When Brazil was chosen to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it had more than infrastructure issues on its mind. The country - set to host to thousands of international visitors for a month - has always been dealing with the deadly dengue fever, recording more cases than any other country in the world. With nearly a million cases reported in a given year, the host and the guests were right to be concerned, more so since the country is all set to host the Summer Olympics in 2016.
However, Brazil is on the verge of developing a tool that might just do the trick. Oxitec Ltd., a biotechnology company in U.K. has developed a technology that will release genetically modified mosquitoes with a deadly gene. This preventative technique kills the offspring of the male mosquitoes before they reach adulthood and can do any damage.
There is no vaccine or treatment for dengue, and Oxitec’s lethal tool will help bring relief to a country that has long since attempted to eradicate the potentially fatal disease. The technique, which will release the modified mosquitoes two or three times a week, has resulted in a 96% reduction after a trial run in Mandacaru, Eastern Brazil. The mosquitoes with the toxic gene exceed its local counterpart in the area, thus acting as a vaccine for the insects instead of humans.
Brazil might be the first country to approve the technique. Oxitec is awaiting final clearance and then aims to expand in Asia. The company also intends on starting trials in India and the Florida Keys later this year.