Eradicating Disease-Carrying Mosquitos is UCI Talk Subject as Yellow Fever Mosquitos Arrive

Views of an adult yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti)
Views of an adult yellow fever mosquito (Aedes aegypti)
Emil August Goeldi/public domain

How is this for a coincidence? The same day vector control officials announced the discovery of yellow fever mosquitoes in Los Angeles County, UC Irvine promoted a lecture on a strategy to eradicate disease-spreading mosquitoes worldwide.

Anthony James, who was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences for his work as a Distinguished Professor of microbiology & molecular genetics and molecular biology & biochemistry at UCI, gives the Francisco J. Ayala School of Biological Sciences Dean's Distinguished Lecture at 3 p.m. Friday.

In "Malaria Eradication: The Goal of a Century," James will discuss "a number of novel, genetics-based strategies he and others designed to target mosquitoes that are part of the global effort to eradicate malaria," according to a UCI statement.

"Recognized as one of the world's leading vector biologists, Anthony James ... is leading the global effort to eradicate malaria and dengue fever by creating strains of mosquitoes which cannot pass on viruses or pathogens to humans. The work one day may help save millions of lives."

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His lecture in UCI Student Center's Crystal Cove Auditorium is free and open to the public. (Click here for more information.)

Perhaps officials with the Greater Los Angeles Vector Control District should attend. Small, black-and-white striped yellow fever mosquitoes were found in Commerce and Pico Rivera last week, these officials disclosed Wednesday.

The mosquitoes are the third type of disease-transmitting varieties found in LA County over the past three years, having been preceded by the Asian tiger mosquito and the Australian backyard mosquito. Like the Asian tiger mosquito, a yellow fever mosquito is capable of transmitting dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever viruses. (The Australian backyard mosquito can transmit canine heartworm.)

According to Orange County Vector Control, the mosquitoes found here have been known to spread West Nile Virus, encephalitis and, to a lesser extent, malaria.

So far.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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