Reducing the Aedes aegypti in Ecuador is in charge of the National Institute for Public Health Research (INSPI), and will start off the experimental phase coming Friday, March 10.
The research, which started in 2017, is co-financed by the Technical Cooperation Program of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
For controlled breeding in the laboratory – CIREV explained- technicians applied feeding strategies, whereby female mosquitoes are nourished with blood, to which they add sweat so that they are attracted by pheromones, as occurs in natural environment.
Male mosquitoes are selected to undergo sterilization. When they are in the pupal stage (between larvae and adults) they receive controlled ionizing radiation.
In this way, with the release of the vectors into the environment, specialists hope male mosquitoes will be able to mate with females in the wild, and since they are sterilized they will not be able to reproduce, causing a reduction in the population of wild mosquitoes, which is also intended to reduce transmission of different viruses.
In addition to reducing Aedes aegypti populations, the Galapagos Islands are expected to prevent transmission of vector-borne diseases to tourists and become a safe tourist destination.