1200 mosquitoes in teaspoon – the key to fighting mosquitoes

Malaria, natural killing cells, parasite,
The mosquito that nourishes the human finger

Transport of sterile mosquitoes to areas where endemic mosquito-transmitted diseases are a challenge

In a worldwide effort to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, several promising new techniques for reducing their populations are based on a single concept: the fight against mosquito mosquitoes.

Some methods send sterilized mosquitoes to the wild, where they mate with the female, but do not produce any offspring, so their numbers fall. Other methods use mosquitoes infected with naturally occurring bacteria that impair their reproductive capacity or their ability to transmit pathogenic diseases. And yet others use genetically modified mosquitoes for the same effect.

The mosquitoes are fine and the adult mosquito flies within 200 meters of their life. This means that mosquitoes released for population management must be physically delivered in batches to exact locations.

But all of these methods are a major challenge: How do we take thousands or even millions of mosquitos born in the lab and get them into the wild?

This is a question Hae-Na Chung of the State University of New Mexico and a team of scientists hope to answer, and their first study on this topic reveals a surprising discovery of how tight mosquitoes can be packed.

In an experiment that tested how well mosquitoes survived a 24-hour transport process, Chung and colleagues found that the optimal protocol is to wrap them in about 240 mosquitoes per cubic centimeter – or, in other words, nearly 1,200 teaspoon mosquitoes.

"We started experiments in 50 milliliter tubes and we quickly learned that you had to put out a lot of mosquitoes to fill a tube – 10,000 men to fit in. Then we switched to 10 milliliters of syringes and we were surprised how many mosquitoes you can go into one, up to 2,500 ", says Ing. Immo Hansen, Ph.D., associate professor at NMSU. Chung is a laboratory technician at Hansen's Molecular Vector Physiology Lab at the University.

Chung, Hansen and colleagues from New Mexico State University; Michigan State University; University of California, Davis; and unmanned systems of the M3 Consulting Group air-handling systems shared their findings in a report published today in an open approach Insect Science Journal.

In the 1950s, a pest method known as a technique of sterile insects was first developed and deployed, which was eradicated for the destruction of glanders in the southern United States and has since been replicated in a number of other settings against other insect pests.

Flies can be transported in a box in boxes of thousands and may be released at a central location from which they will be cast over long distances. On the contrary, mosquitoes are more delicate and adult mosquitoes will not fly more than 200 meters during their lives. This means that mosquitoes released for population management must be physically delivered in batches to exact locations. Unmanned airliners – crushers – are probably candidates for this job but must be equipped with release systems to ensure that the mosquitoes reach the target and are able to fly.

To find out how these delivery systems can be designed, Chung and colleagues were exposed Aedes aegypti mosquitoes – the primary vector of yellow fever, Zika and dengue – for storage at different temperatures, and discovered 14 degrees Celsius (57.2 degrees Fahrenheit), resulting in the highest survival rate. They then carried out the experiment at expedition and handling at this temperature and tested various compaction rates.

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