China to make Cuban Dengue Mosquito killer

China to mass-produce an insecticide effective against dengue-carrying mosquitos, according to Cuba’s foreign ministry.

principal source: Cuban News Agency (ACN) web report 

According to a Cuban foreign ministry statement, Cuban Labiofam scientists have developed and patented a product called Bactivec, a biolarvicide which kills the larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the vector of Dengue Fever.  Labiofam is a Cuban company that specializes in the commercialization of a range of pharmaceuticals, food and hygiene products – and now Bactivec – that are patented in twenty nations throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond. 

China to make Cuban dengue mosquito killer

Bactivec, used to treat fresh water containers, is said to be odourless, insipid and non-toxic to humans.

Bactivec is a 20 year-old formula derived from crystals of the bacterium Bacillus Thuringiensis, which is deadly against Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that carries Dengue fever. 

In an agreement signed at Cuba’s Beijing, China embassy, the two nations agreed that China would defray the cost of building a factory in China to mass-produce the insecticide and that Cuban scientists would provide the technology and know-how to build it. 

Cuba would then be required to purchase six million units of the insecticide annually and in turn China would donate another half million to Cuba, the statement said. 

Peng Xin, deputy director of Labiofam (Biological Products Laboratory Company), told reporters in China that it was a good start for the two nations’ joint plans. 


Cuba suffered four dengue outbreaks between 1977-2002.  In the most recent outbreak, 14,524 cases were reported between June 2001 and March 2002, including 81 cases of Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF), three of which were fatal. 

Dengue fever is found primarily in tropical regions around the world.  The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates there could be some 50 million cases each year and 500,000 cases of more deadly DHF. 

The Aedes aegypti mosquito likewise causes 200,000 cases of yellow fever a year, resulting in 30,000 deaths, 95 percent of them in Africa. 

Cuba, the only country that produces Bactivec, struck a similar deal in 2000 with Amazonas state in Brazil, which produces and sells the biolarvicide to other countries. 

China to make Cuban Dengue mosquito killer 

An engorged Dengue mosquito in this undated photo released by the United States Department of Agriculture 

7 responses to “China to make Cuban Dengue Mosquito killer

  1. Ryan Keating

    The Zambian village I worked with for two years has just recieved Bactivec. It came with no instructions and no indication as to what to do with the product. They are talking about putting it into the wells that they drink out of. This – without knowing much about Bactivec. Sounds like a bad idea, period. Is this an approved product?

    Also, if it is safe – how much should they add to wells?

  2. Of course we want more information. Go right ahead and tell us about this product, but only if it has been put through the prerequisite trials and has been approved for use. Be sure to name the product, the active ingredient (a.i.), mode of action and effects on non-target species and so forth. Also, provide us with links to research papers and credible independent testimonials and endorsements.

    Go to the “Talk to Me” from where you can send your article securely to my e-mail Inbox.

  3. Victor K. Perrier Noubibou

    Hi Israel,

    Biological Mosquito Control is here. Float on water and will keep on working for 30 days or longer under typical environmental conditions. While floading , they slowly release a long-term, biological mosquito larvicide at the water’s surface. This larvicide gradually settles in the water where it is eaten by mosquito larvae growing there. Mosquito bite may be used in all types of containerized standing water sites, except finished, treated drinking water, where mosquito larvae grow. Alternate wetting and drying will not reduce their effectiveness.

    We also have natural mosquito repellent for the prevention of mosquito bites. If interested please contact us for more information about these products.
    Best regards,

  4. Permit me to rephrase your comment Ed: “BTi (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) is deadly to a NUMBER OF TARGET species. The beetle is not one of them.” There is another BT strain, not BTi, that affects the beetle.

    The BTi strain was formulated to affect only mosquito larvae, black fly and the fungus gnat.

    There is absolutely no scientific evidence to show that BTi is devastating to non-target species. In fact, to the contrary, the empirical studies demonstrate that BTi is a very, very safe product. The toxicity of this active ingredient is for the most part low to none.

    Bear this in mind Ed: BTi does not even occur naturally in water. It is rather found in soil. Consequently, it does not last or linger in water and thus cannot proliferate readily and rapidly in the aquatic environment.

    If you have a contrary position, let’s talk about it.

  5. BT is deadly to a lot of species, actually. I believe its first commercial use was against Japanese beetles.

  6. Ed, Bactivec is derived from naturally occurring bacteria found in the environment. They have simply been harnessed to target the acquatic stages of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Thus, Bactivec is not a pesticide, if you know what I mean – far less to be categorised as “broad-spectrum.”

    In other words, mosquito larvae are already being preyed on by the bacteria. The commercial product is simply a way of packaging the bacteria for controlled usage by householders and Vector Control operators.

    Further, Bactivec is to be applied in water containers (drums, barrels, tanks, cisterns) that people keep around their homes because they either have no access to running water or their supply is unreliable. This should indicate to you that no non-target species are involved here.

  7. Are there any downsides to Bactivec? Its appears to be a rather broad-spectrum larvicide. What other species does it kill? Fish? Phytoplankton or zooplankton?

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