Mosquitoes made immune to malaria could help stamp out the disease

C. Wilson,  NewScientist,  2023.

Mosquitoes have been gene edited so they are immune to the parasites that cause malaria. If released into the wild, the genetic modification should spread through a population of mosquitoes because it contains a sequence known as a “gene drive”, which means all the modified insects’ offspring would inherit the immunity. This approach could slash the numbers of malaria cases in people. Malaria is one of the world’s leading causes of death and ill health, taking a particular toll on young children in sub-Saharan Africa. Two vaccines have recently been developed, but they only give partial immunity. Other high-tech strategies against mosquito-borne diseases are under investigation, including gene drives that kill all mosquitoes in a targeted area. But these could have unpredictable effects on ecosystems, says Anthony James at the University of California, Irvine.

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