• UNF researcher stunts growth of mosquito larvae to combat Zika virus

    By: Deanna Bettineschi


    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - UNF researcher Doria Bowers put her research to the test on Wednesday.

    For 30 years, she’s studied mosquitoes – specifically two that found in Florida.

    They are known as the Asian tiger mosquito and yellow fever mosquito and both are carriers of Zika and other viruses.

    Tuesday, Action News Jax visited Bowers’ lab and got to see her research that limits stunts the growth of mosquito larvae.

    Researchers added mosquito larvae into a mixture that stunts their growth and stops them from growing into adults.

    “Every other day, we’ll be feeding them some liver powder and looking for their rate of growth," said Bowers. "The control tub will be growing naturally and we’re hoping the others are slowed down.” 

    She said the point of the inhibitor is if the larvae can’t grow into adult mosquitoes, they can’t bite humans and spread Zika or other viruses.

    Bowers said this is the largest amount of water they've tested the mixture in so far.

    It could be 10 days before researchers can see the outcome of the study.

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