With a total of 1.4 million dengue fever cases in 2013 and the estimated 500,000 visitors arriving soon in Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup this summer, Brazilian health officials have released “The world’s largest ever swarm of genetically modified mosquitoes (GM)” in Jacobina, a farming town in Bahia state.
“We need to provide alternatives because the system we have now in Brazil doesn’t work,” said Aldo Malavasi, president of Moscamed, a Brazilian company that’s raising and testing the GM mosquitoes in Jacobina.
“We have thousands and thousands of cases of dengue and that costs a lot for the country. People are unable to work.” For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
Earlier this year, in response to a dengue outbreak in Panama, the Panama Health Ministry also turned to “transgenic”, or genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to get their outbreak under control.
Dengue is a mosquito-borne, potentially fatal disease that affects between 50 and 100 million people in tropical and subtropical regions every year, causing fever and muscle and joint aches.
According to the World Health Organization, Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever are present in urban and suburban areas in the Americas, South-East Asia, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Western Pacific and dengue fever is present mainly in rural areas in Africa.