Greek researchers try out sterilizing method to control tiger mosquito population
A trial run of a new method to control the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) will be carried out in Vravrona at the town of Markopoulo, through the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT).
The Aedes albopictus is responsible for the transmission of several viruses, including the chikungunya, dengue and Zika viruses. It is also are also a transmitter of the West Nile virus, the incidence of which has risen steeply in Greece this year.
In the SIT method, male mosquitoes are sterilized through ionizing radiation and then released so when they copulate with females the eggs are not fertilized and the mosquito population drops.
The program, introduced in other countries, is being tried in Greece by the Benaki Phytopathologic Institute in collaboration with the University of Thessaly and the support of the Hellenic Atomic Energy Commission.
The program, “ Developing Genetic Control Programs on Aedes Invasive Mosquitoes in the European Region,” is being implemented by the International Atomic Energy Commission as a technical collaboration program.
Research groups in Greece have attended similar pilot studies in the past for the management of other insect populations such as flies.