• Costa Rica Real Estate

Can dengue be eradicated?

September 22, 2011

A new technique involving genetically modified male mosquitoes could be used to eradicate dengue. The British company Oxitec breeds the dengue-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to give them a lethal gene that kills the offspring before they can reproduce. 

The company has received donations from the Gates Foundation and won a Technology Pioneer Award. An article on Oxitec in The Guardian newspaper said the breeding method reduced the mosquito population by 80 percent in the Cayman Islands. 

The company also has carried out trials in Brazil and Malaysia, but not yet in Central America, said Hadyn Parry, Oxitec’s chief executive. He said Oxitec remains in a “preliminary planning stage” with plans to keep expanding.

“We would believe our approach to be adaptable and could certainly be applicable to Costa Rica,” Parry told The Tico Times in an email. The biggest challenge is not implementing the technology, but “understanding the stakeholders, regulatory processes, logistics, etc.”

Some environmental organizations question the use of genetically mutated mosquitoes. Their short lifespan could lead to a more malicious organism filling the niche and a drop in food sources for predators. But supporters of the technique praise it as an innovative and effective alternative to pesticides.

Dengue affects 50 million people a year and kills 25,000, according to the World Health Organization. Approximately $5 billion is spent each year combating the illness. 

You may be interested

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s magical Río Celeste
Pic of the Day
31 views
Pic of the Day
31 views

Pic of the Day: Costa Rica’s magical Río Celeste

The Tico Times - December 8, 2019

It's called Río Celeste for a reason. Tenorio Volcano National Park is home to this stunning waterfall and vivid blue…

Soccer Saturday: Navas makes impressive save vs. Nantes; Herediano takes lead in Costa Rican final
Keylor Navas
40 views
Keylor Navas
40 views

Soccer Saturday: Navas makes impressive save vs. Nantes; Herediano takes lead in Costa Rican final

Alejandro Zúñiga - December 7, 2019

It has been at least a week since we shared a Keylor Navas highlight, and we're here to rectify that…

Wind and rain prompt yellow, green alerts throughout Costa Rica
Costa Rica
850 views
Costa Rica
850 views

Wind and rain prompt yellow, green alerts throughout Costa Rica

The Tico Times - December 6, 2019

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Friday issued yellow and green alerts throughout most of Costa Rica due to rains…

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!