Genetically modified mosquitoes will be ready by 2033 – scientists

D. Sekayinga,  MONITOR,  2023.

The Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVR[) has announced that genetically modified mosquitoes will be ready within a decade. Gene-drive mosquitoes are among the anti-malarial strategies the government under the Africa Target Malaria project has embarked on since 2016, to reduce the number of malaria deaths in the country. ”If the non -Gene-drive (sterilised) mosquitoes respond positively at every stage. we shall possibly be able to have the Gene-drives 10 years from now,” Dr Jonathan Kayondo, one of the researchers, made the revelation during an anti-malarial training for journalists in Kalangala District last week. Dr Kayondo said every level of research will help in information flow, especially in places where research is conducted like the island of Jaana in Bubeke Sub-county in Kalangala District and Nsazi Island in Koome Sub-county. Mukono District. The two islands have high malaria cases. He added that researchers are yet to receive some Ugandan mosquito species whose genes have beenengineered at a laboratory in the USA for trial lease. “\Ne are currently looking at developing sterile male mosquitoes that wouldn’t be capable offertilising the female anopheles mosquitoes that spread malaria before introducing gene-drives to thecommunity,” he said.

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