The success comes after an experiment that lasted two years, practically eradicated in two islands where the insect was considered to be most harmful to humans.
The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), the most invasive and dangerous in the world, carrying diseases such as Zika and Dengue, has been almost completely eliminated in two islands in southern China, in Guangdong province, according to a study published this July 18 in the journal ‘Nature’.
The new technique combined radiation sterilization with bacteria to attack carrier mosquitoes on those islands near the capital of the province, according to study leader Zhiyong Xi, a professor in Michigan State University.
The study "demonstrates the potential of a new and powerful tool," Peter Armbruster, a professor in the Department of Biology at Georgetown University, wrote in a review of the work, cited by the CNA network.
The use of radiation, which effectively sterilizes female mosquitoes, coupled with a bacterial strain called Wolbachia, which kills its eggs, could reduce the female population of Asian tigers mosquitoes, the main source of disease transmission in the place (up to 94%), which translated into a 97% decrease in the bites reported by people.
The technique developed by this team of which 38 scientists from China, the United States, Australia and Austria are part, is based on the release to the environment of male mosquitoes with very little reproductive capacity due to the infection in these individuals of the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis.
An organism that has no negative effects on humans but hinders the ability of insects to reproduce and, therefore, to transmit viruses that cause diseases.
In addition to the males with reduced reproductive capacity, the researchers also infected female mosquitoes and released them into the wild. This technique has as a result that the mosquitoes themselves produce new generations of mosquitoes with little reproductive capacity and, in the end; it is much easier to control or almost eradicate the total population.
In their field studies of mosquito breeding seasons in 2016 and 2017, researchers released more than 160,000 treated mosquitoes per hectare each week, in residential areas on two islands located in Guangzhou, the city with the highest transmission rate of dengue in China.
The goal was to reduce the mosquito population because wild females that mated with altered males, and wild males that mated with sterile laboratory females, would not produce offspring, explains the journal Nature in its online edition.
The team followed the population decline in adult female mosquitoes, as they bite people and transmit diseases. And as expected, the average number of wild adult females was reduced by 83% in 2016 and by 94% in 2017.
The authors do not rule out that this new technique can be used in the control of other mosquito species that are harmful to human health.
The sterilization of male mosquitoes and their release in the wild has been put into practice as a method of controlling these insects in various parts of the world. In previous trials, the most common technique was to sterilize the males with X-rays.
In another similar line of research, transgenic mosquitoes that have no reproductive capacity have been developed. In both cases, the sterile males occupy the space of the fertile mosquitoes and, in this way; the total reproduction in the experimental zone is reduced.
More from China: Chinese Airline Pays Ticket To Mexican Girl To Go To Competition
Samantha Moreno and her family sold cookies to pay for the plane ticket and travel expenses. A Mexican girl can travel to China to participate in a contest, thanks to the help of an airline from that Asian country.
The airline China Southern Airlines announced that it will pay for plane tickets so that Samantha Moreno, an 8-year-old Mexican girl, can participate in the International Mental Artificial Championship 2019, to be held in Fosan, Guangdong Province, China.
Samantha, who previously won the Regional Mental Calculation Championship, has been selling cookies for several months with her parents to pay for the plane ticket and travel expenses. As a token of appreciation, Samantha's family gave the airline representatives some of the cookies they sell.