Aede Aegypti Hypothesis

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Media and scientific attention has recently been focused on the spread of a Virus know as Zika. The virus is spread by the Aedes Aegypti, a mosquito that inhabits tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions. The Aedes Aegypti’s origin is in West Africa, and its trans-Atlantic spread has occurred from the 17th century to the modern day by stowing away on ships. Aedes Aegypti is strongly adapted to live among large human populations, surviving and proliferating through any body of water no matter how big or small. Researchers have found that Aedes Aegypti prospers in dark and wet cargo holds of ships, undoubtedly contributing to its spread throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions in the last four hundred years (Guagliardo et al, 1). …show more content…
What exactly are the ecological impacts of wiping out the mosquito population of an area? The answer to this question is extremely complex due to the fragile nature of an ecosystem, and researchers simply have not had the time to research all the potential impacts with only five trials taking place, all showing a 40-50% increase in effectiveness over previous methods for the same cost. This is evidenced by areas in Florida voting not to be used in preliminary GMO mosquito testing despite the FDA’s approval of the method (Mullin, 1). There’s currently no telling how many species would be impacted if the Aedes Aegypti population was wiped out. While this point is certainly relevant, the Aedes Aegypti was nearly wiped out already in the mid 19th century in order to contain Yellow fever, efforts only stopped after funding for the program dried up (Kaufman, 1). The other major con is that another species of mosquito could occupy the vacuum left by Aedes Aegypti. This species, virtually unopposed, could proliferate extremely quickly leading to many other untold consequences. New and deadlier viruses could be introduced that could devastate ecosystems and further harm human populations. Over one hundred and fifty cities globally are currently threatened by a major disease outbreak (Dengue, Yellow fever, and Chikungunya, etc), one of these disease could fill the gap left by Aedes Aegypti (Wallace, 1). The fact that Aedes Aegypti was the target of a major eradication effort because of Yellow fever, and then upon its return came back with even more major diseases shows that this threat is a possibility (Kaufman, 1). While this threat is certainly present, the same GMO method used on Aedes Aegypti could theoretically be used against whatever takes its

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