Revolutionary Pesticide-Free Patch to Combat Mosquito-Borne Diseases
KiteTM, a new invention that could potentially save countless lives against dreaded mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue and West Nile fever, has made headlines.Early research that led to the development of KiteTM Mosquito Patch was conducted by associate professor of entomology Anandasankar Ray; his laboratory study was first covered in international journal Nature.
Mosquito-borne diseases continue being a menace
– While India, Africa and Singapore have recorded fatalities resulting from diseases caused by mosquitoes in the past year, Huron County (Ontario) and Solano County (California) more recently reported human cases of West Nile infection, which is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes.
The technology behind KiteTM
Mosquitoes engage in host-seeking behavior to locate a vertebrae host and ingest a meal of blood. They seek out hosts through odor cues, a job made easy by their innate ability to sense carbon dioxide, the constituent element of the human breath. Ray has identified odor molecules that impair this ability in mosquitoes. KiteTM incorporates these molecules to fight off mosquitoes – importantly, the molecules are non-toxic compounds approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). This makes KiteTM safe for use by all users, pregnant women and infants included. The breakthrough discovery of nontoxic compounds has put the spotlight on this invention.
From the laboratory to the market
While the technology behind KiteTM was first discovered in the University of California, Riverside, the final product was developed at Olfactor Laboratories. The study and development of the class of odor molecules – the hero ingredients of the mosquito patch – took many years. Financial assistance for the study was provided by the National Institutes of Health, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. KiteTM is a simple patch that can be worn discreetly on your person. You can stick in on your clothes, bike, baby sling, backpack or Kevlar vest. Its design is colorful and attractive – it won’t stand out or interfere with your overall look. KiteTM provides protection against mosquitoes for up to 48 hours. So you can go undetected by pesky, disease-carrying insects for a reasonably long time. By making you invisible, so to speak, to mosquitoes, the patch can be beneficial in a number of scenarios, from safeguarding you right at home to being a vital component in your bagpack/carrybag on your local or global trips and adventures. The colorful sticker is also affordable, a feature that can make it easily accessible to the population of developing and underdeveloped regions, where such diseases tend to be prevalent.
Expectations from KiteTM
Anandasankar Ray says he is excited about the potential of KiteTM in lowering the incidence of life-threatening mosquito-borne diseases like dengue, filariasis and malaria. He believes it can be of great value in combating mosquitoes and disease in Africa as well as worldwide. The company’s chief scientist and vice president Michelle Brown calls KiteTM a compelling alternative to other products of its ilk, providing users with a heighted level of protection against mosquito-borne diseases. KiteTM is a revolutionary product that marks the beginning of a new war against mosquitoes that infect and kill. It is to be seen how people take to the product and when it becomes a household name across the world.