Evolva’s nootkatone enters NIH-sponsored studies to assess its effectiveness against Zika virus

July 31, 2016 |

In Switzerland, Evolva said  that the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases will sponsor studies to test Evolva’s nootkatone against mosquitoes infected with Zika virus. The study will evaluate nootkatone in multiple formulations against wild type and insecticide-resistant mosquitoes that carry the virus.

Studies will be conducted at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins, Colorado, under NIAID’s preclinical services program. CSU researchers will test both the repellency and insecticidal properties of nootkatone against mosquitoes infected with the Zika virus. Data from these studies will supplement Evolva’s ongoing research to fulfil the US Environmental Protection Agency’s requirements for the commercial launch of nootkatone.

This NIH-sponsored research represents the latest expansion of Evolva’s nootkatone work with the US government, which began as a collaboration with the CDC. Evolva and the CDC initially examined nootkatone’s effectiveness for tick control as a novel approach to reduce the spread of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease. In late February 2016, Evolva’s nootkatone collaboration with the CDC expanded to include an additional focus on mosquitoes, including those that transmit Zika, chikungunya, dengue and West Nile viruses.

CDC research has already shown that nootkatone both repels and kills Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits Zika and yellow fever, and the black-legged tick, Ixodes scapularis which transmits Lyme disease. Nootkatone appears to have a mode of action distinct from that of currently used pesticides, and therefore, could potentially be valuable for mitigating pesticide resistance in mosquito vectors.

Zika is one of a number of mosquito-borne viruses, which include both dengue and chikungunya, that are transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. The World Health Organisation and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have declared the Zika virus a public health emergency. Zika is associated with potentially severe neuropathogenic and neurodevelopmental conditions in humans.

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Category: Research

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