Verily announced the launch of the deployment of their Debug Project in Fresno, CA, an initiative to reduce the global health impact caused by disease-carrying mosquitoes. Verily will work in collaboration with MosquitoMate and Fresno County’s Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District (CMAD) to test a possible mosquito control method. PRI BIO’s ThermoDecon supports Google Verily.
Using custom-fitted vans to deploy bacteria-infected non-biting male mosquitoes, Debug Fresno aims to reduce the volume of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, a transmitter of diseases like Zika, Dengue, and Chikungunya. Sterile, non-biting males are infected in the Verily labs with a naturally occurring bacterium called Wolbachia.
The idea is that these males will then mate with untreated or wild females (the ones who bite), resulting in eggs that do not hatch, lowering the overall volume of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito population.