Populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, transmitters of diseases such as dengue, zika and chikungunya, had a 90 percent reduction after they were infected with the Wolbachia bacteria, used as a biological control agent.
(DGCS UADY).- A group of researchers from the Campus of Biological and Agricultural Sciences of the Autonomous University of Yucatan (UADY) and the Yucatan Health Services (SSY), began a study in 2018 that produced the results above.
The analysis will be published in the scientific journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, according to Dr. Pablo Manrique Saide, a UADY researcher and one of the main authors of the study.
The specialist pointed out that the mosquitoes that were bred with Wolbachia in the Laboratory for the Biological Control of Aedes aegypti, and were later released in a certain area of Mérida, considerably reduced their presence inside and outside the houses during the rainy season.
“This method is known as population suppression with the incompatible insect technique because male mosquitoes are reproductively incompatible with females that do not have Wolbachia. Their mating produces infertile eggs that never hatch, and that results in further reductions in the abundance of adult mosquito populations,” he detailed.
As he explained, the results add to the evidence that has been obtained in places such as the United States, Australia, and Singapore, which will help guide larger-scale releases in Yucatan and other parts of Mexico, using the technique of the incompatible insect for the population decline.
Also, it is expected that in the short term this method can be implemented with the population replacement method using Wolbachia, thus preventing mosquitoes from transmitting diseases such as dengue, Zika, and chikungunya.
“Our study reports the first successful implementation of a pilot field trial using male Wolbachia mosquitoes to suppress Aedes aegypti populations in Mexico and Latin America.”
The successful results from the integration of this innovative method as part of an Integrated Vector Management (IVM) plan, implemented by the staff of the Ministry of Health are evident.
In addition to doctor Manrique Saide, professors Abdiel Martín Park, Yamili Contreras Perera, Azael Che Mendoza, Hery Puerta Guardo and Norma Pavía Ruz also work on this project.
The project is being carried out in conjunction with the Ministry of Health of Yucatan and Michigan State University, with the support of FOMIX-Conacyt and the United States Agency for International Development.
Meanwhile, the Aedes aegypti Biological Control Laboratory has an installed capacity to produce from one to five million male mosquitoes per week and is located in the UADY Biological and Agricultural Sciences Campus.