51,000 mosquitoes released in Dupark

Open the mosquito cage, and watch it fly away… IRD 500’s Didier Fontenelle frees sterile males. (photo OD)

The sterile insect technique is entering its final stage. For a year, sterile male mosquitoes will be released every week in the Duparc area. If the method is validated, an industrial approach may be considered.

The first county-wide mass release of sterile mosquitoes occurred yesterday morning in Duparc, Saint Mary’s commune. 51,000 mentioned specifically for this launch. But as of next week, between 120,000 and 150,000 individuals per week will be released on the twenty hectares selected for this life-size trial. This is for ten to twelve months.

Under study for more than ten years, the sterile insect (Tis) technology is entering its final stage. The first tests, which took place at the same location in June 2019, were very encouraging. Sterile tiger mosquitoes, which were produced in insects that were opened at the end of June at the Cyroi site, spread well and live long enough. With an average of ten individuals sterilized per wild animal, the releases should allow a reduction in the numbers of Aedes albopictus, dengue vectors and chikungunya.

nesting trap

After this last epidemic on the island, in 2005-2006, the project was born. “It is an ambitious project that has benefited from basic financial support“,” notes Louis-Clément Gouagna, project coordinator at IRD, who is leading the operation in partnership with several players. Since 2009, Europe (Vedder), the region and the country has given about 2.8 million euros.

Read the full article in the Daily on July 23, 2021.

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