Genetic elimination of dengue vector mosquitoes.
Wise de Valdez MR., Nimmo D., Betz J., Gong H-F., James AA., Alphey L., Black WC.
An approach based on mosquitoes carrying a conditional dominant lethal gene (release of insects carrying a dominant lethal, RIDL) is being developed to control the transmission of dengue viruses by vector population suppression. A transgenic strain, designated OX3604C, of the major dengue vector, Aedes aegypti, was engineered to have a repressible female-specific flightless phenotype. This strain circumvents the need for radiation-induced sterilization, allows genetic sexing resulting in male-only releases, and permits the release of eggs instead of adult mosquitoes. OX3604C males introduced weekly into large laboratory cages containing stable target mosquito populations at initial ratios of 8.5-101 OX3604Ctarget eliminated the populations within 10-20 weeks. These data support the further testing of this strain in contained or confined field trials to evaluate mating competitiveness and environmental and other effects. Successful completion of the field trials should facilitate incorporation of this approach into area-wide dengue control or elimination efforts as a component of an integrated vector management strategy.