An alternative is coming to Brazil that promises to be safe and sustainable to control the females of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito – an invasive species from Africa – transmits dangerous viral diseases including dengue, zika, chikungunya and yellow fever.
Oxitec, from the United Kingdom, developed the trademark "Aedes do Bem" and recently announced a partnership with Rentokil to distribute the product across the country, both in the public and private sectors, according to a statement from the companies.
Oxitec manufactures Aedes do Bem™ at Chrysalis , its R&D and Manufacturing Center in Campinas, São Paulo, which will supply Rentokil's distribution centers throughout Brazil.
In 2022, Brazil recorded 1,016 confirmed deaths from dengue, 400% more than the previous year and the new historical record. The number of dengue cases registered in 2022 was around 1.4 million – 164% more than in 2021, according to the Ministry of Health cited by Oxitec.
Oxitec claims that Aedes do Bem™ is a simple and easy-to-use product – it is activated just by adding water. The box produces male mosquitoes that do not bite and do not transmit disease, and have the function of mating with invasive females of Aedes aegypti . The females resulting from this mating do not survive, which means fewer female mosquitoes in subsequent generations.
In urban pilots in the city of Indaiatuba-SP, treatment with Aedes do Bem™ in densely populated neighborhoods led to the suppression of up to 96% of Aedes aegypti populations, and a 100% effectiveness in controlling female descendants of Aedes do Bem™ released.
The product also promises to be environmentally friendly - it controls the dengue mosquito without harming beneficial species such as bees and butterflies.