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Moscamed Brasil Receives IAEA Collaborating Centre Designation

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Collaborating Centre Designation Ceremony at Moscamed Brasil, with Dazhu Yang - IAEA Deputy Director General Technical Cooperation Department (holding plaque left) and Jair Virginio - Director Moscamed Brasil (holding plaque right).

Moscamed Brasil has been designated as a Collaborating Centre of the IAEA for the period 2018-2022 in relation to its programmes to combat the disease-carrying Aedes mosquito. Brazil, one of the countries that was severely affected by the mosquito transmitted Zika virus outbreak in 2015, has been working on the development of genetic technologies to control the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the vector of this and other diseases such as dengue, for several years. Moscamed Brasil, with the support of the Joint Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the IAEA, has become one of the pioneer institutions worldwide in the application of the sterile insect technique for the control of the Aedes mosquito.

The Deputy Director General of the Technical Cooperation Department of the IAEA, Mr Dazhu Yang, delivered a plaque commemorating the Collaborating Centre designation to the Director of Moscamed Brasil, Mr Jair Virginio, on 21 March. “With the funding of the Ministry of Health and the technical support of the IAEA and FAO, we have initiated a programme to control the vector mosquito through the release of sterile male mosquitoes in the state of Bahia,” said Mr Virginio. “We are upscaling our production capacity to 4 million sterile male mosquitoes per week of a local mosquito strain that will be released on a continuous basis as of January 2019”.

Moscamed Brasil is currently participating in the regional IAEA Technical Cooperation Project on “Strengthening Regional Capacity in Latin America and the Caribbean for Integrated Vector Management Approaches with a Sterile Insect Technique Component, to Control Aedes Mosquitoes as Vectors of Human Pathogens, particularly Zika Virus”. The designation as Collaborating Centre will increase the opportunities for other participating Member States in the region to benefit from the facilities and expertise of Moscamed Brasil in terms of mass-rearing Aedes mosquitoes, quality control, sterilization of male mosquitoes and aerial releases at an operational scale.

Moscamed Brasil has a long history of collaboration with the Joint FAO/IAEA Division on the sterile insect technique for fruit flies and mosquitoes. Since 2011, seven regional training courses, three research coordination meetings and some 30 fellowships and scientific visits have been hosted at their facilities.

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