In 2013, scientists at the Jichi Medical University working under a grant from Gates Foundation set out to see if GMO mosquitoes could be used as a “syringe” to deliver vaccines to people through mosquito bites. They specifically wanted to know if the modified mosquitoes could be used to “vaccinate entire communities at once.”
Just as in the Oxitec 513A GMO mosquito proposed for Florida, researchers injected a protein pathogen along with a fluorescent marker called DsRed to make the modified DNA easier to find. The study found that the DsRed marker was, indeed, present in the saliva of the GMO mosquitoes.
Next, mice were exposed to the GMO mosquitoes and repeatedly bitten. They showed antibodies to the viral pathogen, as you would expect with a vaccine. The mosquito bite vaccine “syringe” was shown to require a high number of bites to be effective on its own, but combined with injected vaccines, the study’s author estimates that between 5 and 50 bites could be enough to trigger the vaccine effect in a human being.
According to the Oxitec FDA Report, the imperfect sex sorting process would result in the Key Haven test releasing 62 biting GMO females *per person*, each with Herpes simplex virus, E. Coli bacteria, and the DsRed marker. Because the study uses the same genomic techniques, it shows that the Oxitec artificial DNA will also be emitted in saliva and passed to humans when the released females and their offspring take blood meals.