Sterile-insect methods for control of mosquito-borne diseases: An analysis
Effective vector control, and more specifically mosquito control, is a complex and difficult problem, as illustrated by the continuing prevalence (and spread) of mosquito-transmitted diseases. The sterile insect technique and similar methods control certain agricultural insect pest populations in a species-specific, environmentally sound, and effective manner; there is increased interest in applying this approach to vector control. Such an approach, like all others in use and development, is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and will be more appropriate in some situations than others. In addition, the proposed release of pest insects, and more so genetically modified pest insects, is bound to raise questions in the general public and the scientific community as to such a method's efficacy, safety, and sustainability. This article attempts to address these concerns and indicate where sterile-insect methods are likely to be useful for vector control.