Control of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes using gene drives

T. Nolan,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190803. 2020.

Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that can be re-designed to invade a population and they hold tremendous potential for the control of mosquitoes that transmit disease. Much progress has been made recently in demonstrating proof of principle for gene drives able to suppress populations of malarial mosquitoes, or to make them refractory to the Plasmodium parasites they transmit. This has been achieved using CRISPR-based gene drives. In this article, I will discuss the relative merits of this type of gene drive, as well as barriers to its technical development and to its deployment in the field as malaria control. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Novel control strategies for mosquito-borne diseases’.

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