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UK firm develops transgenic mosquito to tackle Zika virus

February 2 2016

A UK-based company has developed a genetically modified mosquito that could tackle the Zika virus. Known as OX513A, and can prevent the aedes aegypti mosquito, the major source of the Zika virus, from multiplying.

The male mosquitoes are modified in such a way that their offspring will die before reaching adulthood, thereby preventing their reproduction. “This is a powerful and versatile tool that can dramatically reduce the levels of infestation, which is the core of Brazil’s prevention strategy right now.

The Zika virus has been associated with microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with underdeveloped brains. In many cases, the condition can also result in premature deaths. Currently, there is no vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus.

Source IB Times

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