The greates plant of genetically-modified mosquitoes opened in Brasil. At about 140 kilometers from Sao Paulo, in the city of Piracicaba, Oxitec, a British firm, opened this plant with a capacity of 60-million-weekly production of transgenic mosquitoes, whose mission is to fight Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes, which transmit dengue and zika.
The factory opened more than two years ago, when Oxitec installed its laboratories in the nearby cities of Campinas and Bahia to study the effectiveness of this new technology developed to create defective mosquitoes that live less time.
According to the firm, from 2011 to 2014, on 5 fields located in Brazil, Panama and the Cayman islands, the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes decreased by around 90% after the release of the modified congeners.
In March, US authorities greenlighted to temporarily test with these mosquitoes, but the process for testing and eventual sale still have a long road ahead.
In Brazil, Oxitec has not obtained marketing approval from the health authority ANVISA yet, but the mayor of Piracicaba agreed to give 3.7 billion reais (around 1.1 million dollars) for 4 years. The gol is to release 10 million mosquitoes every week. They will copulate with the female, wild mosquitoes but, due to their composition, they won’t be able to reproduce and it they do so, the newborns won’t be able survive outside the laboratory.