There are a handful of different approaches to combat mosquitos to fight the dengue and Zika viruses, and public and private organizations are turning to different methods, MIT's Technology Review reports.
The nonprofit Eliminate Dengue has received $18 million to release mosquitos infected with the bacteria Wolbachia, which renders the mosquito unable to pass to the viruses, in Rio de Janeiro and in Medellín, Colombia. The aim is for these Wolbachia-infected mosquitos to replace the current population. This approach, Tech Review says, is estimated to cost about $1 per person.
Meanwhile, the biotech company Oxitec is instead altering male mosquitos' genes to make them sterile and thus interrupt the spread of disease by causing the local population to decline in numbers. This method, which requires multiple releases, costs some $7.50 per person per year.
Other organizations are pursuing other ways, too, Tech Review says. For instance, the Gates Foundation's Target Malaria is investigating gene drives and Project Debug at Verily is researching using Wolbachia to make sterile males
"We think mosquito suppression has a role, and that there is a lot of room to try different things," Nigel Snoad from Verily tells Tech Review.