The OX513A strain of Aedes aegypti is a species-specific and contains self-limiting technology and operationally resembles conventional SIT (Sterile Insect Technique) which involves the release of sterile male insects into the field. Conventional SIT is based on irradiation technique and has been used successfully for over 50 years for area-wide control and/or elimination of several important agricultural pests and disease vectors, including the Mediterranean fruit fly (Hendrichs et al 1995), the screwworm fly [Wyss 2000 and Lindquist et al 1992) and the tsetse fly (Msangi et al 2000). However, the Oxitec insects differ from the conventional SIT by eliminating the need for irradiation which involves fitness cost and random mutation since they are engineered to contain a self-limiting gene that causes their offspring to die, but the Oxitec insects can live and reproduce normally when they are fed a diet containing an antidote. They also contain a heritable, fluorescent marker to distinguish them from native pest insects and to help scientists with the management of pest control programmes.

@ Copyright GBIIT. All Rights Reserved