Listen: Mosquito sterilization offers new opportunity to control chikungunya, dengue, and Zika
"Around fifteen countries preparing to test a technique that sterilizes male mosquitoes using radiation as part of for global health effort to control diseases such as chicken Ganja Dong and Zico in an interview with you and newses Daniel Johnson. Jeremy me boy a a UN pest control expert explains how the process of using radiation on the bugs works actually. We started to collaborate with WWL. Show US in two years and now we announce this collaboration because we are getting to the point where we will organize pilot trials to demonstrate the impact of the sterile insect technique nick against the disease transmitted by mosquitoes such as dengue. How big is Dang is a problem globally as a poem and this year it has peaked? So countries like Brazil reported five times increase of and we don't have good control technologies for for the victims thousand guests who the technologies that works against overall. Mosquitoes like malaria for the Malaysia. Vehicles like mosquito nets. We are not working against eighty species species because they are by getty the mosquito yes it is. I disagree with two major of exiles tiger mosquitoes actually and so we I believe in very small level Beta and the conventional technologies based on. Insects is for example are not working. So how you going to do with the sterilization what does it involve. So this take Nikki's based on based on the release of sterile males that mate with the wild females and the induced in the female insect birth control metal. So if you sterilize females the eggs we not attach and you will reuse the next generation. If you do that on several generations you will succeed to reduce the population by more than one thousand nine hundred eighty five percent and that we expect to demonstrate that this will block the transmission of the how many countries are taking part in test trials announced today. Today we have more than fifteen countries that artistic plan to test the beginning of two thousand twenty and part of them will apply to the ground that we launched with Who but for now. The selection has not been done and so we cannot release was information on the coup will be selected to do the endurance trials but but in previous trials. What are the result showing you? How much of the mosquito population are you able to reduce and effect? Is it having on disease transmission. So in preview Sir Charles we did not measure the impact on this mission. We just motivated that. It was decreasing the mosquito population very significantly by more than ninety percent in some cases but now we are ready to upscale the technology we are ready to produce a huge number of males and theresa larger areas. And you have to use it it in a area-wide it means that you have to release in areas where you talk it a full population. You cannot use a too small area so it was not possible until now now to To state like what we will do next year and why not because there are many bottle next to to produce large number of style meals as you know we are able to produce easily millions melt per per weekend release previously we were able to to produce ten thousand one hundred thousand maybe a week but but those are shift needed many improvements. But you're live of sex teen and it's only now that we are suiting so tell us about sex sorting mosquitoes a AH difficult job. I can't imagine how to go about that. You know if you release females mosquito nobody we like it and because they will bite you. We only males that are non biting but to you do that. You need to separate your males from females and you need to do that very fast because And now we have a technology that allows to sort of two hundred fifty thousand pupae per hour. So we've robots on the weekend multiplies number of robots who we don't have a limit any more in the sixteen component finally held well on these tests going to last. When will we get some results? I think that we can expect to result. weaving two years after the beginning of the of the trials but we stop up middle of next year after the selection processes is finished. What's the risk is mosquitoes are radiated absolutely no risk mosquitoes? They are not radioactive. They just have mutations that makes them feel sterile but they die shortly after releasing there is no transmission of these thirteen population so very friendly technology."