Mutant Malaria-free Mosquitoes

On February 24, 2009, in malaria, research, by Karen Grepin

As I see it, there have been at least four major lines of research in the fight against malaria: new medicines, new vaccines, new methods of protecting people from mosquitoes, and new methods to eliminate mosquitoes from the environment. A whole new way of tackling the disease, however, has emerged. Scientists are also working on developing genetically modified versions of mosquitoes to prevent or reduce the transmission of the disease.

In the past few years, much progress has been made on this last line of research. Today a mutant strain Anopheles Gambiae has been developed that has been genetically modified to prevent the spread of malaria. The hope would be that this new strain could be introduced into the wild, would compete favorably with native mosquito populations and eventually reduce the transmission of disease.

To read more about these advance, see the following article recently published in PLoS Medicine.

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2 Responses to “Mutant Malaria-free Mosquitoes”

  1. Alanna says:

    I didn’t see anything in the article about how these modified mosquitoes will will the natural selection battle, which seems crucial to me.

  2. Karen Grepin says:

    I agree, that part was a bit vague but clearly that needs to be the case for this strategy to work. Perhaps still a bit of a futuristic idea, but it certainly is interesting.

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