Health: Bio-Gene reckons its spray kills mozzies dead; shares fly
Health & Biotech
Health & Biotech
Insecticide maker Bio-Gene (ASX:BGT) says a trial is proving one of its products is lethal against a particularly difficult to kill mosquito.
The Anopheles gambiae mosquito carries malaria and is increasingly resistant to more commonly used insecticides.
A study at Purdue University in the US found that Bio-Gene’s eucalyptus-derived insecticide is effective against this particular bug.
That news sent shares up over 36 per cent this morning to an intra-day high of 32c.
The product is based on a compound found in Australian eucalypts and works when mosquitos land on sprayed surfaces and touch it with their feet, or via contact with their bodies.
Tarsal, or foot, studies identify compounds that may be useful in treated bed nets and indoor sprays.
Bio-Gene is making a next-generation of novel insecticides to address insecticide resistance and toxicity, using a naturally occurring class of chemicals known as beta-triketones.
“Combined with previous trial work, the company has now demonstrated Flavocide activity against resistant populations of the major mosquito species that carry diseases of such global importance as Malaria, Zika virus, and Dengue fever,” CEO Richard Jagger said.
The professor who led the research, Catherine Hill, says vector-borne disease — or illnesses spread by agents like ticks, mosquitos or fleas — is a growing problem due to increasing insecticide resistance, population growth, urbanisation, travel, and climate change.
More than half of the world’s population is at risk from vector-borne diseases, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
There are more than 200 million cases of malaria every year, and of these around 400,000 people die, most of them are children under the age of five; Zika virus has been declared a global health emergency; and death due to Dengue fever has increased 30 times in the last 50 years.
Collectively these diseases killed 700,000 people in 2017, according to the WHO.
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