The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of a common bacterium for killing wild mosquitoes that transmit viruses such as fever denga, yellow or Zika.
On November 3, the agency told MosquitoMate Company that it could release the bacterium Wolbachia pipientis into the environment for the destruction of the Asian tiger mosquito. According to Nature, mosquitoes produced in the laboratory carrying this bacterium will transmit it to wild mosquito populations.
The decision EPA has not officially announced allows the Lexington-based Kentucky company to release mosquito-infected mosquitoes in 20 US states. “It’s a non-chemical method for destroying wild mosquitoes”, said David O’Brochta, an entomologist at Maryland University in Rockville.
Specialists have noted that other mosquito species will not be performed by those created in the lab. The company said it would begin to suppress wild mosquito populations gradually until their total disappearance. Recently, the same method has been tested in Brazil.