Mosquitoes genetically modified to be resistant to Zika

Staff,  Lab+Life Scientist,  2021.

US researchers have used CRISPR gene-editing technology to produce mosquitoes that are unable to replicate Zika virus and therefore cannot infect humans through biting — a novel approach to what the World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed a “public health emergency of international concern”. Researchers have wrestled with different strategies for controlling the spread of Zika virus, which is transmitted to humans from female mosquito bites. One approach, which has been approved by the US Environmental Protection Agency, will see more than 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes released into the Florida Keys in 2021 and 2022. These ‘suicide mosquitoes’ are genetically altered to produce offspring that die before emerging into adults and therefore cannot bite humans and spread disease.

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