Let's stop bad bugs with good bugs.

Bad mosquitoes spread disease. Good mosquitoes can stop them.
Debug is a group of scientists and engineers developing technology to raise and release sterile mosquitoes to eliminate the ones that carry disease.
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The Problem
Mosquitoes are the deadliest animals on the planet.

Mosquitoes kill more people than every other animal combined. One species, Aedes aegypti, carries diseases such as dengue, Zika, yellow fever, and chikungunya which make hundreds of millions of people sick every year. And these diseases are spreading faster than ever.

Fig 1: Aedes Aegypti and Dengue Range (2015)

Sources: adapted from Kraemer et al. 2015 and Bhatt et al. 2013

And they're a difficult problem to solve.

Most of these diseases don’t have effective vaccines or treatments. Attacking mosquitoes with pesticides is unsustainable because they're becoming less effective over time and can be toxic. Clearing standing water is not enough because people can never find all the places that mosquitoes breed. We need a new approach.

Our Solution
We're trying to stop bad mosquitoes
by raising and releasing good ones.

Good bugs are the same species of mosquito as the bad bugs that spread disease. Our good bugs are male mosquitoes that have a naturally-occurring bacteria called Wolbachia which makes them unable to have offspring with wild female mosquitoes. Male mosquitoes can’t bite or spread disease, so good bugs will stop bad ones from reproducing. Over time, there will be fewer and fewer bad mosquitoes.

Fig 2: Bad bugs vs. good bugs

This technique uses a naturally occurring bacteria and uses no chemicals, no toxins and doesn’t involve genetic modification. Similar approaches have been used to safely combat other pests for decades. We’re combining Verily’s scientific and engineering expertise with the help of international partners to raise and release lots of good bugs and stop bad mosquitoes that can spread disease.

Find out more about good mosquitoes and how we raise them

Our First Steps
Fighting bad bugs one community at a time.

We’re currently developing our technologies and methods to target Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This means partnering closely with scientists, communities, and governments.

Debug is off to a good start, but there is still plenty to do. We look forward to working with communities to show that by releasing enough good bugs Debug can have a real impact on mosquito populations and disease. Eventually, we hope to help millions of people live longer, healthier lives.

Want to help us stop bad bugs?

If you're interested in working with Debug, contact us at partners@debugproject.com.

For media inquiries, contact press@debugproject.com.