The mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895) is a potent vector of several arboviral diseases, most notably chikungunya and dengue fever. In the context of the sterile insect technique (SIT), the sterilization of the male mosquitoes before their release can be achieved by gamma-ray irradiation. As gamma-ray irradiators are becoming increasingly problematic to purchase and transport, the suitability of an X-ray irradiator as an alternative for the sterilization of Ae. albopictus males was studied. The sterilization of up to 200,000 pupae at one time can be achieved with relative ease, and the sterility results obtained were comparable with those achieved by gamma irradiation, where 99% sterility is induced with a dose of 40 Gy. A significant reduction of longevity was observed in the latter stages of the males’ life after irradiation treatments, especially at doses >40 Gy, which is consistent with the negative effects on longevity induced by similar radiation doses using gamma rays. Females irradiated at 40 Gy were not only 100% sterile, but also failed to oviposit entirely, i.e., all of the females laid 0 eggs. Overall, it was found that the X-ray irradiator is generally suitable for the sterilization process for sterile insect technique programs, as it showed a high processing capacity, practicality, high effectiveness, and reproducibility.
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Vol. 51 • No. 4