17 May 2012

US EPA seeks public comment from American Samoa on mosquito trial

7:50 am on 17 May 2012

The US Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment in American Samoa on a request from the University of Kentucky for permission to conduct a mosquito experiment.

The University's Department of Entomology's experiment aims to eliminate the Polynesian tiger mosquito which causes lymphatic filariasis or elephantiasis.

Scientists from the university have been studying the mosquito in the territory for quite some time.

They've now developed a vector control which involves the mosquito being treated with a naturally occurring bacteria as a means of reducing their population.

The treatment is supposed to change the bacterium in the mosquito so that the female's eggs don't hatch.

The university is seeking an experimental use permit from the Agency so it can release the treated mosquito in Aunu'u.