WHO releases new guidance for deployment of genetically modified mosquitoes

E. Henderson,  News Medical Life Sciences,  2021.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidance for the deployment of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to combat vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue. GM mosquitoes may carry a gene that kills female progeny and the technology can be used against the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses. For malaria, genetic modification has focused on reducing the ability of the female Anopheles mosquito to carry the parasite that causes the disease. The WHO guidance, released this month, relates to research and development of GM mosquitoes as well as issues around effectiveness, safety, affordability and ethics. Presently, measures against mosquito vectors include the use of insecticides and elimination of the breeding spots of mosquito larva, said the guidance, developed in partnership with WHO collaborators such as the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases and the GeneConvene Global Collaborative.

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