IAEA and WHO to Develop a New Framework for the Application of Nuclear Techniques against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

When it comes to transmitting diseases among people, mosquitoes are unsurpassed in the economic and health burdens they impose. In the absence of efficient drugs or vaccines and given the need to reduce the use of insecticides, international efforts are required to develop and implement new, complementary control techniques for mosquito species. The nuclear sterile insect technique (SIT) is one such technique.

The SIT is an environmentally-friendly insect pest control method involving the mass-rearing and sterilization, using radiation, of a target pest, followed by the systematic area-wide release of the sterile males by air over defined areas, where they mate with wild females resulting in no offspring and a declining pest population.  To help advance its development for large scale use against mosquitoes, the IAEA last week hosted the second workshop of the Working Group to Finalize the Guidance Framework Document on SIT Applied to Mosquito-Borne Diseases.  The guidance is expected to be published before the end of 2019.

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