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The same company, Oxitec, previously released a different genetically modified mosquito, OX513A, which they claimed would be all male and wouldn’t have any offspring that survived to adults. They were wrong they did release females and the offspring did survive, and it’s backed up by peer reviewed evidence. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-49660-6
The genes introduced, based on E.coli and Herpes, tTAV, and coral, DsRed2, code for proteins that have sequences identical to known human inhalant allergens. That means they will likely increase the number and/or severity of type I respiratory disorders.
tTAV is also known to be toxic to rodents and cause other health problems.
The parent of these mosquitoes were also reared in tetracycline. This means there is a good chance these mosquitoes harbor tetracycline resistant bacteria. Since tetracycline is used to treat humans with MRSA, for example, this is a serious concern. It is such a concern that dozens of doctors in the Keys have signed a petition to test these mosquitoes for tetracycline resistant bacteria. The company is refusing to allow this test to be done.
Another problem is that these mosquitoes were previously used in Brazil and they did not eradicate the Aedes aegypti. The problem is when you reduce the population, but do not eradicate, this allows other mosquitoes to move in and fill that niche. In the Keys that mosquito would most likely be Aedes albopictus. This mosquito transmits all of the same diseases as the Aedes aegypti. If this were to occur that would mean that there would be 2 vectors of mosquito-borne diseases in the area instead of 1. That is an incredibly dangerous situation.
Also males can acquire mosquito-borne diseases via transovarial transmission and then spread through venereal transmission.
This is why numerous mosquito experts say this has not been properly assessed.
In comparison, there is a naturally occurring bacterium that was used in Australia, wolbachia, that has already reduced (transmission of) mosquito-borne diseases. This bacterium inhibits viral replication for dengue, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, and Mayaro viruses that cause human disease. If we are talking about reducing mosquito-borne diseases this is the solution. There are numerous peer reviewed studies where wolbachia reduced mosquito-borne diseases.
“The regression model estimate of Wolbachia intervention effect from interrupted time series analyses of case notifications data prior to and after releases, indicated a 96% reduction in dengue incidence in Wolbachia treated populations (95% confidence interval: 84 – 99%). ” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6801363/
There is 0 evidence for OX5034 reducing any diseases. In fact, there are 0 peer reviewed studies for OX5034 at all.
There are five issues/topics that need to be addressed or clarified for the letter above:
OX513A is a male Aedes aegypti mosquito, genetically engineered to pass along a lethal gene to wild females that makes the females’ offspring die. … Synthetic DNA with a lethal gene is injected into a mosquito egg. OX513A is a mutated version of a “sterile” mosquito. (Please refer to the post, Stopping Zika: The GMO mosquito that kills his own offspring)
Andrw Kramer’s message made me curious about OX5034 and lead me to find that, from wikipedia under “Oxitec”, in italics, below: The OX5034 generation of Oxitec’s self-limiting mosquito technology began field trials on May 23, 2018 in Indaiatuba, a municipality in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. The trial was to cover 2,000 residents to suppress A. aegyptimosquitos.. The company announced the trial’s results in June, 2019.OX5034 male offspring survive, allowing additional mating cycles that further reduce the pest population. This function is time-limited. In subsequent generations fewer and fewer males pass on their self-limiting genes. OX5034 males were expected to disappear from the environment 10 generations after releases stop.
As for what tTAV is, this is what I’ve discovered (in italics, below): Tetracycline-controlled transactivator (tTAV) is a synthetic protein coding sequence based on a fusion of sequences from Escherichia coli and Herpes simplex virus (VP16 transcriptional activator). tTAV is under the control of its own binding site, tetO. In the absence of tetracycline, tTAV binds to tetO and drives expression of more tTAV, in a positive feedback loop. In the presence of tetracycline, tTAV binds tetracycline; this tetracycline-bound form does not bind tetO and so does not lead to expression of more tTAV. Consequently, this construct gives very high levels of expression of tTAV in the absence of tetracycline, but only low, basal expression in the presence of tetracycline. tTAV encodes a dominant trait that, when introduced into certain insects, causes death of the insect unless the antibiotic tetracycline is supplied. For diagrams of how wild-type mosquito (no tTAV gene) vs. GM mosquito (how tTAV works in the absence and in the presence of tetracycline) works, please click HERE.
Alternative methods need to be considered and tried and compared: Mosquitoes with Wolbachia have a reduced ability to transmit viruses to people, decreasing the risk of Zika, dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever outbreaks. Wolbachia are natural bacteria present in up to 60% of insect species, including some mosquitoes. However, Wolbachia is not usually found in the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary species responsible for transmitting human viruses such as Zika, dengue, chikngunya and yellow fever. Please refer to The World Mosquito Program’s Wolbachia Method.
For better understanding of Dangers of GMO Mosquitoes, we bring you an episode on Fresh Take with Dr. Ram Balasubramanian and Dr. Stephen Forbes, please click HERE. (Tips on reducing mosquitoes: avoid standing water, citrunella oil, breeze, coffee ground, etc.)
Known until recently as Eliminate Dengue: Our Challenge, the World Mosquito Program (WMP) is a not-for-profit initiative that works to protect the global community from mosquito-borne diseases. Pioneered by Australian researchers, WMP use a safe, natural and effective method to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. Following promising results from international pilot studies, local governments and communities are embracing the WMP’s Wolbachia method in 10 countries, with further projects in development, in the video “The World Mosquito Program“, below:
The World Mosquito Program, formerly known as the Eliminate Dengue Program, uses naturally occurring bacteria – called Wolbachia – to reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit harmful viruses such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. In areas where these diseases are endemic, the WMP is working with the community, local health organizations and governments to implement its self-sustaining method through controlled releases. Since 2011, our trials have shown we can successfully deploy this method without posing risks to natural ecosystems or public health. Find out more about our work at www.worldmosquitoprogram.org
For more about the World Mosquito Program’s Wolbachia method, please click HERE.
In the video “World Mosquito Program – Our Wolbachia method“, below:
It does appear that more studies are needed, alternative methods tried, and be presented and explained to the general public, especially to the medical community (https://www.facebook.com/JohnWNorrisMD/photos/a.459350820848060/1000115220104948/), before such large number of GM mosquitoes can be released. Without careful consideration, if any of the mosquitoes will not be eradicated after release of huge number of GM mosquitoes, we may be in the process of creating Super Mosquitoes in the days to come. Then it will not be a sunny future for Florida or any where else on earth. So, whether the Wolbachia Method or GM Mosquitoes will ultimately be accepted, it is time to discuss, investigate, and understand. Be wary of the fact that the World Mosquito Program’s Wolbachia Method is based on a non-profit organization whereas GM mosquitoes are based on Oxitec, a for-profit company.
I am a mother/wife/daughter, math professor, solar advocate, world traveler, yogi, artist, photographer, sharer of knowledge/information, and resident of Windermere, FL. I've worked professionally in applied math, engineering, medical research, and as a university math professor in IL and FL for about 20 years. My husband and I loved Disney and moved down to Central Florida initially as snowbirds. But we've come to love the warmth and friendly people offered by this community and decided to move down to Windermere, FL full time in 2006. I am now spending time sharing information/ knowledge online, promoting understanding of math and solar energy (via http://www.sunisthefuture.net ), and developing Windermere Sun (http://www.WindermereSun.com) as an online publication, sharing and promoting Community ABC's (Activities-Businesses-Collaborations) for healthier/happier/more sustainable living. In the following posts, I'll be sharing with you some of the reasons why Windermere has attracted us to become full-time residents of Central Florida region. Please feel free to leave your comments via email at "Contact Us" in the topbar above or via [email protected]
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