What are the risks if a female GM mosquito bites someone?

There were no human impacts reported in Cayman, Panama and Brazil field trials. The bite of an Oxitec female mosquito is the same as a wild one because the proteins of the two introduced genes (pest control gene and colour marker) are non toxic and non allergenic and not present in the female mosquito’s saliva.

Oxitec female mosquitoes produce the same effect as Oxitec males – their offspring die. If Oxitec males and females mated each other, their offspring would die, but we want them to mate the wild pest mosquitoes, not each other, to shrink the pest population. Oxitec’s approach of preferentially releasing males means that more wild pest mosquitoes can be targeted by a given release. This is why Oxitec aims to release only male mosquitoes and our sex sorting efficiency is high – over 99%.

Further reading:

Papathanos, P.A., Bossin, H.C., Benedict, M.Q., Catteruccia, F., Malcolm, C.A., Alphey, L. and Crisanti, A. (2009) Sex separation strategies: past experience and new approaches. Malaria Journal 8 (Suppl 2): S5.