JUAZEIRO, Brazil, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

An International workshop has been held at Juazeiro, Brazil, to review the first phase of a project to evaluate the potential for Oxitec's genetically modified dengue mosquito strain, Aedes aegypti OX513A, to be used as part of the campaign to control the Dengue mosquito in Brazil. The first phase results have successfully demonstrated the ability of Oxitec male mosquitoes to mate with wild females, validating the Oxitec approach.

The project, called 'Projeto Aedes Transgenico' (PAT), is the result of collaboration between the University of Sao Paulo, Moscamed and Oxitec and is supported by the State of Bahia government through the Secretary of Health, SESAB and Secretary of Science Technology and Innovation. The trials are being carried out in the Juazeiro area in Bahia state.

The meeting was part of an ongoing process to involve senior government and health officials in the progress of the trials and community engagement. Participants included representatives from the National Dengue Control Programme, Fiocruz, the Secretary of Science and Technology of Bahia state and Secretary of Health of Bahia as well as leading international experts.

Dr Aldo Malavasi, President of Moscamed, said:

"Openness and transparency have been a clear focus of PAT from the outset, and a vigorous and proactive community engagement campaign has been carried out involving all levels of the community."

As part of the first phase of the trial project representatives visited every house in the trial area, met with local leaders and press, both print and TV, held local community meetings and published leaflets and other information resources. At the meeting Dr Malavasi reported that the response of the local community and wider public had been "very encouraging."

Dr Margareth Capurro of the University of Sao Paulo, who is leading the project, said

"The latest results are very positive. We have used this data to plan two separate trials in local areas with different conditions where we hope to demonstrate suppression of the dengue mosquito."