Biovecblok is a spin-off of Camerino University involved in the development of new 
and biological tools for insects’ vector population control.

For a long time the School of Biosciences and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Camerino, has been performing excellent researches on the parasitosis transmitted by insects in both agro-alimentary and public health field.

In particular, The parasitology lab lead by the prof. Favia is among the most recognized laboratories, at international level, for the study of symbionts inhabiting mosquito vectors of disease that represent a strong worldwide healthcare problem, such as Malaria (the most important parasitic infection and the second infectious disease in the world for both mortality and morbidity after the tuberculosis.

Every year about 500 million new clinical cases are identified and it causes around 500 thousands deaths) and Dengue (the most important human arbovirosis both for morbidity and mortality, 50 million cases and 24 thousands deaths are estimated every year caused by hemorrhagic fever). (Favia et al., PNAS 2007; Damiani et al., Curr Biol 2008; Damiani et al., Microb Ecol 2010;  Capone et al., Parasit Vectors 2013 ;  Crotti et al., Environ Microbiol 2009).

 

At the same time, different researches are performed relating to harmful insects in the agro-alimentary field like Scaphoideus titanus, the vector of a virosis that causes the Flavescence Dorèe into grapevines, causing the death of viticultures, with huge financial disadvantages at economical level (Crotti et al., Environ Microbiol 2009) and Bactrocera oleae, known also as “olives fly” that provokes heavy losses on both production and oil quality (unpublished data). In the last years, after the spread of Rhynchophorus ferrugineus which destroyed the palms of the Mediterannean Basin leading to important financial lose, we have enlarged our field of interest in this area (Valzano et al., J Entomol Acarol Res 2012).

In this context, our idea is: after years of studying, a project that involved the University of Camerino, University of Perugia and Harvard University, we have transformed a natural molecule, present in different kinds of food, in a powerful biocide able to overcome the limits of pesticide and insecticides used nowadays due to the continuous increase in insect resistance against the chemicals adopted. Since our molecule belongs to the insect physiology, it is not able to induce resistance mechanisms.

 

In particular, our biocide is able to block the mosquito reproductive cycle producing sterile mosquito of the Anopheles genus’ malaria vectors, and Aedes genus, Dengue and Zika vectors. In this way, we can block both the transmission of the etiological agents and drastically decrease the vector population.