Jun. 9, 2017
Strike, a company located in the Brazilian state of Alagoas, along with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa), developed a biological insecticide that attacks the larvae of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the transmitter of dengue, zicka virus, chikungunya fever, and yellow fever. Created through the Bacillys thuringiensis israelensis bacteria (Bti), the product is not harmful to other living beings, or the environment. Other important characteristics of the new bioinsecticide are its resistance to high temperatures and ultraviolet rays of the sun, which makes it ideal to be used in the Brazilian tropical climate.
In the final stage of registration at the Brazilian National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa), STRIKE Bio-BTI, as it is called, can be sold directly to consumers in supermarkets, flower shops, and other stores, thanks to a recent change in the agency’s regulations, aimed at the registration of sanitizers. Previously, the sale of this type of product was restricted to specialized companies or for public health campaigns.
According to the research of Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Rose Monnerat, which participated in the development of the bioinsecticide, the efficiency is similar to previous products, though this could be used on water for human consumption. With only one drop for each liter of water, the new bioinsecticide is capable of killing the larvae of mosquitos in their breeding grounds.
The product will be sold in three formats: gallon in a liter, bottles of 30 milliliters and 500 milliliters with a sprinkler, for direct application on plants. The scientist noted that the product should be applied in locations where the insect reproduces, such as water boxes, flower pots, aquariums, and water mirrors, among other places that accumulate water.
Long recognized in agricultural research, the bacteria used in the formulation of the bioinsecticide is specific only to attack the larvae of the Aedes aegypti, resulting in it not being harmful to other types of life. This micro-organism has been used in biological control programs throughout the world for over four decades, and there have been no cases of human intoxication or resistance of the target-plague. Its use is recommended by the World Health Organization in campaigns to control the disease, even with the application of water aimed for human consumption.
“Biological products today occupy nearly 2% of the agrochemicals market in the world, but there is a high growth trend of nearly 15% in the next years,” explains the researcher. The expansion of the sector follows the growth of the natural products market, especially in Brazil, which is the fifth largest market in the sector of health food and beverages. Carlos Eduardo Guañabens believes that the country will well accept the new bioinsecticide since, besides being effective, it offers ease of use, which will make it available to all social classes.