Biotech Updates

Roslin Institute and Oxitec Collaborate to Curb Major Cattle Pest

May 31, 2023

Researchers from public and private institutions are collaborating to manage the harmful effects of the Asian blue tick to cattle, which causes billions of dollars in losses globally. The partnership aims to provide farmers with a highly effective alternative from using chemicals to cope the pest.

Oxitec will be working with the leading livestock research experts of the Roslin Institute to develop solutions against the invasive Asian blue tick (Rhipicephalus microplus). Using Oxitec's Friendly™ solution, the researchers will work to develop a self-limiting tick with a gene that will prevent its offspring from reaching adulthood. A previous feasibility study by Oxitec provided supporting evidence for this collaboration to move forward. It cited that the development of a Friendly™ R. microplus can be an effective biological approach to cope with the pest compared to the conventional method of applying chemical pesticide, which is rapidly becoming ineffective as the tick becomes resistant to it.

R. microplus affects cattle, buffalo, goats, and horses. It can spread a number of diseases and has the largest impact of any tick-borne cattle infection, with an estimated cost of USD 3.2 billion of losses and management cost each year in Brazil alone.

For more information, read the press releases from the Roslin Institute and Oxitec.

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