Transgenic Dengue Mosquito

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THE dengue is a serious problem of public health well known by Brazilians. Every year the registered cases of the disease are high and worry the population and the authorities. Only in the first months of 2014, the Brazil recorded 659,051 cases of dengue, according to the Ministry of Health.

The disease, transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti and caused by a virus of the Flavivirus genus, causes high fever, body aches, headache, and blemishes and rashes on the skin. It is noteworthy that there are different forms of the disease and, in some cases, depending on the form, severe hemorrhagic conditions can occur.

Despite the constant struggle of the authorities and the population itself, dengue is a very difficult disease to control. However, a new weapon to fight it may be emerging in our country: the transgenic dengue mosquito. O Aedes aegypti modified is a biological control method that aims to reduce the number of mosquitoes in our country.

The technique consists of releasing male mosquitoes (which are unable to transmit the disease, as they do not bite humans) that have a

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lethal gene in your body. When mating with females, males pass this gene on to offspring, which cannot reach adulthood. With that, the mosquito population tends to decrease.

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These modified insects are created by injecting a piece of DNA when they are still in the egg stage. In 2014, the first factory of the British company Oxitex that produces Transgenic Aedes aegypti. Although production and testing are allowed, Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) has not yet released the sale of mosquitoes.

Tests have already been carried out in two municipalities in Bahia and have obtained excellent results, with a reduction of more than 80% in the number of live mosquitoes in the environment. This significant reduction may indicate that a new and efficient weapon against dengue is close to being launched.

Remember that while this new weapon is not available, you must keep doing your part, avoiding leaving stagnant water, putting sand in the small plates of plant pots, covering the water tanks well, cleaning the gutters and slabs and not leaving objects that could accumulate water.

By Ma. Vanessa dos Santos

Would you like to reference this text in a school or academic work? Look:

SANTOS, Vanessa Sardinha dos. "Transgenic Dengue Mosquito"; Brazil School. Available in: https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/biologia/mosquito-dengue-transgenico.htm. Accessed on June 28, 2021.

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