Breeding Malaria Out: Scientists Engineer Mosquitos to Spread Antimalaria Genes

L. Papadopoulos,  INTERSTING ENGINEERING,  2021.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), malaria is a “serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans.” There are four types of malaria parasites: Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. ovale, and P. malariae with P. falciparum being the one most likely to result in death. But what if these mosquitos could be genetically altered to spread antimalaria genes instead of the disease? That would be nothing short of a miracle. Researchers from Imperial College London have successfully altered a mosquito’s gut genes to make them spread antimalarial genes to the next generation of their species. This innovation may result in curbing malaria once and for all. This is especially important as the parasite that causes malaria has been becoming increasingly resistant to antimalarial drugs.

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