Cuba Tests a Technique to Reduce the Population of Dengue Transmitting Mosquitos

The technique known as the “sterile insect” is focused on reducing the birth rate of the ’Aedes Aegypti’ mosquito

On this occasion, a drone was used to release the previously sterilized male specimens by air in Havana / AENTA

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 10 April  2024 — Cuba tested for the second time the technique known as the “sterile insect” aimed at reducing the birth rate of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the transmitting agent of diseases such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya. According to official media reported this Tuesday, on this occasion a drone was used in Havana to release by air the male specimens previously sterilized with ionizing radiation so that they copulate with wild females, and thus reduce the population of Aedes aegypti.

The experiment was conducted by the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine in order to contrast the effects of releasing mosquitoes by air instead of by land, in terms of survival, dispersion and competitiveness, as explained by the coordinator of the Network of Communicators Nuclear Companies of Cuba (Recnuc), Marta Contreras, cited by the Granma newspaper.

Contreras also stated that male mosquitoes “do not bite, nor spread diseases and, even irradiated, they maintain the condition of being sexually competitive.”

The first trial of this technique was applied in Cuba in November 2019, in the Havana community of El Cano, belonging to the municipality of La Lisa.

In that area, weekly releases of the vector were carried out for eight months – all by land – and a high effectiveness was achieved with this procedure, almost completely eliminating the mosquito population in the demarcation.


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