Panama will use genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue

June 2, 2014

PANAMA CITY – Panama will try to control a dengue outbreak that has claimed six lives this year by releasing transgenic mosquitoes. Officials believe the mosquitoes can render infertile female transmitters of the disease, officials said.

Health Ministry Director Carlos Gálvez told AFP the technique has “shown promise” in Brazil and the Cayman Islands.

In Panama, it is being run by the Instituto Gorgas tropical research institute.

“The GM male mosquitoes have contact with the females that transmit dengue; then the eggs the (non-GM) females lay no longer produce (dengue-)transmitting mosquitoes,” he explained.

Gálvez said the GM mosquitoes are not a danger to humans because they do not feed on blood, but rather on fruit.

GM mosquitoes live for just a week, while normal ones live for a month.

The ministry plans to release the GM bugs in two weeks, numbering in the hundreds for each estimated dengue-transmitting female.

You may be interested

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby
sports
125 views
sports
125 views

Adaptive surfing, part II: The story of Dean Bushby

Ellen Zoe Golden - May 22, 2018

A three-part look at adaptive surfing in Costa Rica. Read Part I here to learn how a Central Pacific coach is…

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network
Human rights
154 views
Human rights
154 views

Costa Rica launches Pride Connection network

Elizabeth Lang - May 22, 2018

As Costa Rica continues to grapple with the disagreements about marriage equality and gender identity that dominated the second round…

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week
The Alvarado Administration
188 views
The Alvarado Administration
188 views

Costa Rica at a glance: top news from the past week

The Tico Times - May 21, 2018

Newly inaugurated Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado is closing in on two weeks on the job. Here are some of…