Friday, August 08, 2003

Kenya: using sterile tsetse flies to combat sleeping sickness

Here's an interesting stragegy to control and eradicate sleeping sickness and nagana. Both diseases are spread by the tsetse fly ... and researchers in Kenya will soon begin releasing sterile male tsetse flies into an area where the diseases are present. The idea is that the male flies, rendered sterile by exposure to gamma rays, will mate with the females in the wild and produce no offspring. Over time, no more flies. Researchers plan to release 50,000 male flies a week for about two years.

Here's a fact sheet on sleeping sickness. Nagana is a cattle disease transmitted by the tsetse fly.

Thanks to Tony for putting me on to this story.