Tuesday July 31, 2012
By YEOH YI SHUEN
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THE Subang Jaya Municipal Council (MPSJ), Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) and CIMB have joined forces to reduce the threat of dengue in Kampung Seri Aman, Puchong, using Toxorhynchites mosquitoes.
They recently carried out the third phase of a project that helped prevent the Aedes mosquitoes from breeding.
Cannibalistic by nature, the Toxorhynchites species is known as the “elephant mosquito” and one of the few species that does not consume blood and only eats plant nectar.
The Toxorhynchites mosquitoes, in blue, metallic green or black, are released to breed and produce larvae which will eat the larvae of the Aedes mosquitoes.
Larvae of the Toxorhynchites mosquitoes are 1.2cm to 1.8cm long and are are four or five times bigger than normal mozzies.
Kampung Seri Aman was chosen for this project because 27 cases of dengue fever were recorded last year.
MPSJ deputy president Abdullah Marjunid said the project would not endanger the public and there were no side-effects.
“A Toxorhynchites mosquito is sitting on my arm but it does not bite as the mosquitoes feed on plants. We are safe,” he said.
MPSJ health director Dr Roslan Mohamed Hussin said the project was now at a testing stage.
“During the first phase of the project, we did not see any pupae of the Toxorhynchites mosquito. However, at the second stage, we found a few.
“Hopefully, this means that the mosquitoes are adapting to their surroundings and we hope that the third phase will have even better results,” added Dr Roslan.
Some 400 adult Toxorhynchites mosquitoes and 100 of its pupae were released.
Since the project started in October last year, there has been a noticable decrease in the number of dengue cases in the area.
“Last year, there were 27 cases. So far, this year there have been less than 15 cases.
“If this project proves to be successful, we may conduct this in other areas as well,” said Dr Roslan.