Promising anti-mosquito trial in Tahiti

5:05 pm on 5 April 2016

Scientists in French Polynesia say an ambitious experiment to control mosquito populations is proving to be very successful, and could change the way countries prevent mosquito-borne illness.

Hervé Bossin, and his team from Institut Louis Malardé, the territory's public research institute, had released sterilised Polynesian Tiger Mosquitos on the atoll of Tetiaroa to try and prevent breeding.

He said that in six months, Tetiaroa, the private island of the late Hollywood star Marlon Brando, had seen its mosquito population drop dramatically.

"It's showed to be very efficient so far. We started to release a very large number of males in a test field since September of last year, and we have observed the gradual suppression and collapse of the the treated area and the treated mosquito population that we are targetting in Tetiaroa. It's been very effective."

Hervé Bossin said that if successful, the process could become one of the most effective ways for Pacific countries to fight against diseases like dengue fever, chikungunya and Zika virus.

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