Aedes albopictus, one of the most aggressive mosquitoes in the world, has been wiped out from almost two islands in Guangzhou, China, according to a paper published recently by the US magazine Nature. The joint research team of Sun Yat-sen University and Michigan State University, led by Professor Xi Zhiyong, used mosquitoes to control mosquitoes and let them kill each other. 90% of the wild Aedes albopictus in these two experiments were eliminated.
Aedes albopictus, commonly known as flower-footed mosquitoes, also known as Asian tiger mosquitoes, has white striped legs and a small, black-and-white body. They come from Southeast Asia and are scattered in the latitudes of Madagascar eastward to New Guinea and north to the Korean Peninsula. It is the vector mosquito of dengue fever with Aedes aegypti. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature Species Survival Committees Expert Group on Invasive Species (ISSG) is listed as one of the worlds top 100 alien invasive species.
Like other members of the mosquito family, female mosquitoes have a long, slender tubular organ for collecting blood and feeding their eggs, while male mosquitoes consume nectar or plant juice. Female mosquitoes lay their eggs near the water to reproduce, but unlike other mosquitoes, they lay their eggs directly in the water. Typically, they lay their eggs in stagnant pools. Any open water container can make the larvae grow and reproduce.
Aedes albopictus is one of the main culprits of dengue virus transmission. In addition, it can also transmit chikungunya virus, Zhaika virus, malaria, yellow fever and so on.
Two methods of mosquito control have made some progress.
One is insect control technology, which uses radiation to sterilize male mosquitoes and then places them in the wild. The male Aedes albopictus does not suck human blood and interferes with the oviposition of female mosquitoes. Male sterile mosquitoes are weaker than wild male mosquitoes, which are difficult to attract female mosquitoes.
The second is the bacterial infection method. Injecting Wolbachia bacteria into mosquitoes will affect the fertility of mosquitoes. The eggs of male mosquitoes and female mosquitoes with this bacteria can not survive after mating. However, when this method is widely implemented, female mosquitoes with bacteria will continue to produce offspring in the field.
Professor Xi Zhiyong led a team that combined the two methods to infect Aedes albopictus with three strains of Wolbachia, followed by low-level radiation.
Male mosquitoes were vaccinated with three new symbiotic strains of Wolbachia. After mating with wild female mosquitoes, the eggs laid by female mosquitoes did not hatch at all.
The male mosquito with symbiotic bacteria will not be sterilized by mating with female mosquitoes with the same symbiotic bacteria, but only by mating with wild female mosquitoes.
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