Perspectives into Genetic Manipulations for Control of Dengue Vector (Aedes aegypti Linnaeus, 1762) with Reference to Progress in Indian Experiments

R. Chatterjee, S. Bhattacharya and B. K. Tyagi,  Genetically Modified and other Innovative Vector Control Technologies,  2021.

Vector-borne diseases like malaria, dengue, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis, Zika and others claim millions of lives across the globe annually, and as such their control has become an ardent necessity. Past attempts over the decades have introduced vector control through chemical, biological and environmental means. However, these measures, already in place, failed to completely bring down the mortality rates from vector-borne diseases, most of which lack a vaccine to prevent epidemics or even a specific antidote to treat patients. The modern development of technologies such as the release of insects carrying a dominant lethal (RIDL) gene system, an example of transgenesis; the Wolbachia-based cytoplasmic incompatibility inducing infertility in female insects, an example of paratransgenesis; and the revolutionary gene drive (CRISPR/Cas9) technology, has their roots in the sterile insect technology (SIT), which worked by creating sterilized males through irradiation to compete with their wild counterparts and subsequently mate with females in nature to produce infertile eggs; a technology meant to gradually and finally exterminate the vector population in nature. These technologies have shown great promise, albeit many imperfections, particularly regarding acceptance by the concerned societies. As far as vector control is concerned, we have attempted to simplify their definitions for the common man so that the intricate scientific jargon about these technologies do not instill any fear or doubts to the end users.

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