Newswise — Have the mosquitoes that transmit Zika become resistant to common public health insecticides? That’s the question Texas Tech University researchers hope to answer after a months-long study funded by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Steve Presley, a professor in the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech, says Zika is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. His group will first collect mosquito eggs from 50 counties in Texas, specifically targeting areas where the Aedes species have been found. Once those eggs hatch, they’ll be exposed to a variety of widely used insecticides to determine whether the mosquitoes have developed resistance to the chemicals.
Steve Presley, professor, Institute of Environmental and Human Health, Texas Tech University, [email protected]
- “We’ll know what insecticides they’re using commonly where the mosquitoes come from, but we’ll test them against a whole range of public health insecticides to determine what is effective and what’s not effective.”
- “It’s very basic knowledge, knowing what is effective against the mosquitoes that transmit the virus.”
- “You put 10 or 20 adult mosquitoes in that jar, put a lid on it and leave them. You check 30 minutes later, an hour later, two hours later, four hours later, to determine how long it takes them to die at that specific concentration.”
MANY CITIES SPRAY FOR MOSQUITOES DURING THE SUMMER.
AND WHILE IT MAY BE GETTING RID OF SOME OF THOSE PESKY CRITTERS… IS IT KILLING THE SPECIES THAT SPREADS ZIKA?
A GROUP OF TEXAS TECH RESEARCHERS HOPES TO FIND OUT.
THEY’RE WORKING WITH OFFICIALS IN 50 TEXAS COUNTIES TO COLLECT MOSQUITOES… THEN EXPOSE THEM TO SEVERAL COMMONLY USED PUBLIC HEALTH INSECTICIDES.
“STEVE PRESLEY” IS THE TEXAS TECH PROFESSOR WHO’S LEADING THE STUDY.
HE SAYS THERE ARE ABOUT FIVE OR SIX CHEMICALS THEY’LL FOCUS ON.
“You put 10 or 20 adult mosquitoes in that jar, put a lid on it and leave them for… you check 30 minutes later, an hour later, two hours later, four hours later, to determine how long it takes them to die at that specific concentration.”
THIS RESEARCH IS BEING FUNDED BY THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH SERVICES.
“PRESLEY” HOPES TO HAVE SOME RESULTS BY OCTOBER.