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