Cuba advances in sterile insect technique against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

Cuba advances in sterile insect technique against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

HAVANA, March 31. The second release of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Havana using a drone meant progress in the use of the sterile insect technique (SIT)for the control of vector populations that cause dengue, Zika and other diseases.

The event is part of an experiment aimed at contrasting its aerial effects with the terrestrial area in terms of survival, dispersion and competitiveness of infertile male mosquitoes, coordinated by the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), agency specialists reported. of Nuclear Energy and Advanced Technologies (AENTA).

They pointed out that the initiative is led by the IPK and its Master in Science. René Gato Armas, microbiologist and head of the International Project Evaluation of the Sterile Insect Technique for the sustainable control of Aedes aegypti in Cuba.

Also, his colleague Misladys Rodríguez Ortega, a medical epidemiologist, coordinates the sectoral project Community trial for the evaluation of the impact of the release of sterile Aedes aegypti in reducing the burden of dengue and Zika disease in the population of La Lisa. Havana, 2020-2026.

Once released, infertile males copulate with females, reducing their reproductive capacity and thus the birth rate of the wild population, in a technology used successfully for more than 50 years in the world to manage various insect pests of agricultural interest.

According to the AENTA, the IPK colonizes them from eggs collected in the areas that will be treated and they reproduce en masse in a small bioplant equipped by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

According to their sex, they are separated and the males in the pupal stage are transferred to the Center for Technological Applications and Nuclear Development (Ceaden), where they are sterilized using ionizing radiation.

Under these conditions, they return to their place of origin, and the adult is expected to emerge, which is fed and subsequently released in the study area, where the males do not bite and, consequently, do not bother or transmit diseases.

A group of experts from the Ministry of Public Health intervened this week in his release in the town of the capital municipality of La Lisa.

The experiment is also part of Cuba’s activities in the project Strengthening Regional Capacity for the Adoption of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) as a component of mosquito control programs in Latin America and the Caribbean.

A similar experience occurred in the country for the first time on November 25, 2019, in the El Cano community of La Lisa and eight months later they did the same in weekly periods by land until they exceeded one million 200 thousand individuals: then, they completely eliminated.