Quote:Humans bitten by carrier flies can develop African sleeping sickness, which can be fatal without treatment. No vaccine against the disease exists for livestock or humans because the parasite is able to evade mammalian immune systems, so control methods primarily involve targeting tsetse flies through trapping, pesticide treatments and sterile male release strategies.
"Decoding the tsetse fly's DNA is a major scientific breakthrough that opens the way for more effective control of trypanosomiasis, which is good news for millions of herders and farmers in sub-Saharan Africa", said Kostas Bourtzis of the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture.
Quote:A form of insect birth control, the Sterile Insect Technique involves releasing mass-bred male flies that have been sterilized by low doses of radiation into infested areas, where they mate with wild females. These do not produce offspring and, as a result, the technique can suppress and, if applied systematically on an area-wide basis, eventually eradicate populations of wild flies.
Tsetse flies were successfully eradicated from the island of Zanzibar using the Sterile Insect Technique and are currently being suppressed in parts of southern Ethiopia. In January, Senegal reported that it was making significant progress in infested areas in the Niayes with the same method.