Swat Team

The future of curbing mosquito-borne diseases? Lab-grown, weaponized male mosquitoes.
 
MosquitoMate, a Kentucky biotech company, got the green light from the EPA this week to sell male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes infected with Wolbachia bacteria. When released, infected males mate with uninfected wild females, producing dud eggs. A 2016 study also confirmed that mosquitoes with Wolbachia are less likely to spread diseases. Controlling mosquito populations, which carry yellow fever, dengue and Zika—is  crucial to controlling outbreaks.
 
MosquitoMate is licensed to sell to the government and directly to consumers in 20 U.S. states as soon as next summer.
 
Quartz

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Rose Writes
November 15, 2017

To be fair, I do not doubt that Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus suppresses viruses. But here's the crucial point:

What happens when trillions of Wolbachia-infected Aedes males die or are consumed? And what about the eggs and larvae that will ALSO contain it?

Everything dies and is eventually "absorbed" by something else in nature. Wolbachia can survive (at least) a week in a dead host; ample time for other organisms and parasites to acquire (and spread) it.

And earlier this year, I discovered that "up to 60 per cent of the Culex family do not lay eggs on the surface of water. Rather, they lay their eggs near boggy, swampy, watery areas, on leaves or just about anything that is just above or just near the water." Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/mosquito-eggs-water-1.4069272

So, when I viewed these WWF-Canada stats:

- Grassland birds dropped 69 per cent
- Aerial insectivores fell 51 per cent
- Shorebird populations declined by 43 per cent
Source: http://blog.wwf.ca/blog/2017/09/13/wildlife-species-loss-living-planet-…

And coupled that with this highly alarming statistic:

-Sperm counts have declined by more than half for Western men
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/sperm-count-declining-north-america-europ…

I thought: Wolbachia is infecting humans and mammals now and Culex are (in my mind) the most likely culprit. I also believe Wolbachia is working in tandem with Zika (a virus acting like a bacteriophage) hitching a ride to the gonads, heart, CNS, optic lobe and retina.

Bottom line: We need to demand that vertebrates (including humans) be tested for Wolbachia because there ARE treatment options.

If Wolbachia in Aedes is so safe, then WHY can't we test for it in vertebrate species that are suffering catastrophic breeding failures (including humans)?

Latest petition update: https://www.change.org/p/investigate-north-atlantic-right-whale-deaths-…

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