Print version ISSN 0074-0276
On-line version ISSN 1678-8060
Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz vol.90 no.1 Rio de Janeiro Jan./Feb. 1995
Transfer of toxin genes to alternate bacterial hosts for mosquito control
Corporación para Investigaciones Biológicas, Unidad de Control Biológico, Medellin, Colômbia
Mosquitoes are vector of serious human and animal diseases, such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever, among others. The use of biological control agents has provide an environmentally safe and highly specific alternative to the use of chemical insecticides in the control of vector borne diseases. Bacillus thuringiensis and B. sphaericus produce toxic proteins to mosquito larvae. Great progress has been made on the biochemical and molecular characterization of such proteins and the genes encoding them. Nevertheless, the low residuality of these biological insecticides is one of the major drawbacks. This article present some interesting aspects of the mosquito larvae feeding habits and review the attempts that have been made to genetically engineer microorganisms that while are used by mosquito larvae as a food source should express the Bacillus toxin genes in order to improve the residuality and stability in the mosquito breeding ponds.
Key words: biological control; Bacillus thuringiensis; Bacillus sphaericus; crystal proteinas; recombinant insecticides; aquatic bacteria