Combating mosquito-borne diseases using genetic control technologies

G.-H. Wang, S. Gamez, R. R. Raban, J. M. Marshall, L. Alphey, M. Li, J. L. Rasgon and O. S. Akbari,  Nature Communications,  12:4388. 2021.

from Wang et al. (2021) doi 10.1038/s41467-021-24654-z

Mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue and malaria, pose significant global health burdens. Unfortunately, current control methods based on insecticides and environmental maintenance have fallen short of eliminating the disease burden. Scalable, deployable, genetic-based solutions are sought to reduce the transmission risk of these diseases. Pathogen-blocking Wolbachia bacteria, or genome engineering-based mosquito control strategies including gene drives have been developed to address these problems, both requiring the release of modified mosquitoes into the environment. Here, we review the latest developments, notable similarities, and critical distinctions between these promising technologies and discuss their future applications for mosquito-borne disease control.

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