Keywords: africa

What do we mean by “Target Organism” in Target Malaria’s gene drive research?

J. B. Connolly,  Target Malaria,  2022.
In the wild and in laboratory settings, sibling mosquito species can successfully mate to produce viable offspring, regardless of whether they are vectors or not. Importantly, females, but not males, of these offspring can be fertile. Nonetheless, the likelihood of finding such ...
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Population replacement gene drive characteristics for malaria elimination in a range of seasonal transmission settings: a modelling study

S. Leung, N. Windbichler, E. A. Wenger, C. A. Bever and P. Selvaraj,  Malaria Journal,  21:226. 2022.
BACKGROUND: Gene drives are a genetic engineering method where a suite of genes is inherited at higher than Mendelian rates and has been proposed as a promising new vector control strategy to reinvigorate the fight against malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Using an ...
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Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Malaria in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali and Uganda: What Legal Response?

O. J. L. Tung,  Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal,  25:1-42. 2022.
Advanced applied research on genetically modified (hereafter GM) insects is being undertaken to control insect vectors of human diseases such as mosquitoes. GM insect technologies are being developed in countries where there is a legal ...
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Spatial modelling for population replacement of mosquito vectors at continental scale

N. J. Beeton, A. Wilkins, A. Ickowicz, K. R. Hayes and G. R. Hosack,  PLOS Computational Biology,  18:e1009526. 2022.
Malaria is one of the deadliest vector-borne diseases in the world. Researchers are developing new genetic and conventional vector control strategies to attempt to limit its burden. Novel control strategies require detailed safety assessment to ensure responsible and successful ...
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Fighting Malaria With Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

K. Ferris,  Liberty Nation News,  2022.
Nearly half of the world's population inhabits an area at risk for malaria – but scientists hope to change that. Through the engineering of gene drives, malaria-transmitting mosquitoes could be irradiated completely. That might sound like a great idea, but scientists and ...
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Gene Drives: The advanced science fiction technology used to fight malaria mosquitoes explained

Anonymous,  NewsBeezer,  2022.
Scientists are using the most advanced form of genetic engineering to eradicate a population of malaria-carrying mosquitoes by rendering the females infertile. Scientists introduced a lab-tweaked gene (a gene created using Gene Drive) into an organism that automatically ...
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The sci-fi technology tackling malarial mosquitos

Anonymous,  The Star,  2022.
Environmental campaigner Liz O'Neill doesn't mince her words about gene drives - the next generation of genetic modification (GM) technology. "It is extremely worrying," says the director of UK anti-GM pressure group, GM Freeze. "To release something that has been specifically ...
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Lessons learned from the introduction of genetically engineered crops: relevance to gene drive deployment in Africa

H. Quemada,  Transgenic Res,  2022.
The application of gene drives to achieve public health goals, such as the suppression of Anopheles gambiae populations, or altering their ability to sustain Plasmodium spp. infections, has received much attention from researchers. If successful, this genetic tool can contribute ...
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The Financialisation of Malaria in Africa: Burkina Faso, rogue capital & GM/gene drive mosquitoes

S. Mentz-Lagrange and S. Swanepoel,  African Centre for Biodiversity,  2022.
This paper seeks to understand the financialisation of malaria as a vehicle for rogue capital in a context of a weakened state (through capture, corruption and coups) and the power that limits effective interventions. It shows how malaria, along with other diseases, is ...
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Genetically altered mosquitoes to close gaps in malaria fight

M. Murigi,  People Daily,  2022.
In 2020, nearly 6.9 million cases of malaria and about 742 deaths were confirmed in Kenya according to the Kenya Malaria Indicator Survey (KMIS) 2020. Although the number of reported infections declined from 10.9 million in 2018, the disease is still one of the main health ...
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UC Davis — Malaria Gene Drive Feasibility Analysis

Good Ventures,  Good Ventures,  2022.
Open Philanthropy recommended a grant of $10,248,967 over three years to UC Davis to support subsequent stages of a feasibility analysis of a potential test of gene drives for malaria control on the adjoining West African islands of São Tomé and Príncipe. The work, led by Dr. ...
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Squashing malaria could save as many lives as covid-19 has taken

Anonymous,  The Economist,  2022.
When it comes to covid-19 vaccines, poor countries in Africa have been stuck at the back of the queue. However, the continent’s long wait for another immunological miracle appears to be drawing to a close. Later this year, the world’s first malaria vaccine is scheduled for a ...
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Spatial modelling for population replacement of mosquito vectors at continental scale

N. J. Beeton, A. Wilkins, A. Ickowicz, K. R. Hayes and G. R. Hosack,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.06.463299. 2022.
Malaria is one of the deadliest vector-borne diseases in the world. Researchers are developing new genetic and conventional vector control strategies to attempt to limit its burden. Novel control strategies require detailed safety assessment to ensure responsible and successful ...
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Gene-drive mosquitoes, a prospect for future malaria control

S. A. Monawwer, A. O. I. Alzubaidi, F. Yasmin, S. M. Q. Haimour, S. M. I. Shay and I. Ullah,  Pan African Medical Journal,  41:2-6. 2022.
Despite major developments in malaria control over the past two decades, the disease continues to scourge the human population across the globe. Rising concerns such as insecticide resistance amongst vector mosquitoes are a cause of huge fear amongst healthcare providers and ...
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Preparing an Insectary in Burkina Faso to Support Research in Genetic Technologies for Malaria Control

C. Guissou, M. M. Quinlan, R. Sanou, R. K. Ouédraogo, M. Namountougou and A. Diabaté,  Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases,  2022.
The Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS) of Burkina Faso, West Africa, was the first African institution to import transgenic mosquitoes for research purposes. A shift from the culture of mosquito research to regulated biotechnology research and considerable ...
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Information Sharing in Senegal on the Gene Drive Technology as a potential Complementary Tool for Malaria Vector Control

AUDA-NEPAD in partnership with the National Biosafety Authority (Autorité Nationale de Biosécurité (ANB) in Senegal organized an Information sharing meeting on the gene drive technology as a complementary tool for malaria vector control, from 22-23 December 2021, in Somone, ...
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Gene Drives For Malaria Control And Elimination

Annonymous,  Health Tech,  2021.
There is notable ongoing research and prioritization of gene drive technology in Africa for Malaria control and elimination. Currently, there is ongoing gene drive mosquito research in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali and Uganda led by the Target Malaria consortium. While laboratory ...
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Scientists eye gene drive technology to combat malaria

S. Buguzi,  Sci Dev Net,  2021.
Scientists are hoping that adoption of gene drive technology could reduce mosquito populations as they call for new innovations in the fight against malaria, a fatal disease widespread in Sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) says the Africa region accounted ...
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Small-scale release of non-gene drive mosquitoes in Burkina Faso: from engagement implementation to assessment, a learning journey

L. Pare Toe, N. Barry, A. D. Ky, S. Kekele, W. Meda, K. Bayala, M. Drabo, D. Thizy and A. Diabate,  Malaria Journal,  20:395. 2021.
This study provides a review of engagement activities relevant to field trials on non-gene drive genetically-modified mosquitoes as well as an assessment framework-using both qualitative and quantitative studies as well as an audit procedure. The latter was implemented to ...
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Spatial modelling for population replacement of mosquito vectors at continental scale

N. J. Beeton, A. Wilkins, A. Ickowicz, K. R. Hayes and G. R. Hosack,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.06.463299. 2021.
We explore transmission of the gene drive between the subspecies, different hybridisation mechanisms, the effects of both local dispersal and potential wind-aided migration to the spread, and the development of resistance to the gene drive. We find that given best current ...
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Stakeholders call for adoption of emerging technologies to fight Malaria

C. Muchira,  KBC,  2021.
Health stakeholders are calling for adoption of innovative and emerging technologies such as gene drive to change the focus of the war on malaria from just controlling its spread to actual elimination. The African Institute for Development Policy and other stakeholders have urged ...
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Life Table of Bactrocera zonata (Saunders) (Diptera: Tephritidae) for Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) in Mauritius

R. D. Bhoyroo, S. Facknath and P. Sookar,  African Entomology,  29:361-369. 2021.
Fruit flies (Tephritidae) have been reported to be a serious pest worldwide. In Mauritius, the major fruit fly species of economic and quarantine importance in agricultural production are Bactrocera zonata (Saunders), Zeugodacus cucurbitae (Coquillett) and Bactrocera dorsalis ...
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Genetically changed mosquitoes could transform Africa’s long fight against malaria

L. Singh,  ForumIAS,  2021.
In nature, there’s a phenomenon called gene drive which operates in the process of reproduction. This is when a genetic element is able to increase the chance that it will be inherited by offspring. The general underlying principle of all gene drives is an organism that will ...
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Africa must not rest until Malaria rests: What is the role of emerging technologies?

R. Oronje,  AFIDEP,  2021.
As we mark the World Mosquito Day today, it is a sad reminder that Malaria still kills hundreds of thousands of people every year, majority of these people in Africa. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malaria killed 409,000 people in 2019, and 94% of these deaths ...
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Scientists eradicate malaria-transmitting mosquitos using genetic engineering which make females infertile in new study which takes one step closer to wiping out the disease worldwide.

C. Ciaccia,  Daily Mail,  2021.
Malaria kills nearly 500,000 people globally every year, but scientists have now figured out a way to use CRISPR gene-editing technology to make female mosquitoes infertile, described as a 'game-changer' for ending the deadly disease. Researchers from Imperial College London, ...
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Burkina Faso Testing Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Curb Malaria

H. Wilkins,  Voice of America,  2021.
The mosquito-borne disease malaria kills more than 400,000 people each year, the vast majority in Africa. Target Malaria, an international group of scientists, is working in Burkina Faso on a genetic solution. Abdoulaye Diabate, with the West African country’s Research ...
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Selection of Sites for Field Trials of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes with Gene Drive

G. C. Lanzaro, M. Campos, M. Crepeau, A. Cornel, A. Estrada, H. Gripkey, Z. Haddad, A. Kormos, S. Palomares and W. Sharpee,  bioRxiv,  2021.04.28.441877. 2021.
Novel malaria control strategies using genetically engineered mosquitoes (GEMs) are on the horizon. Population modification is one approach wherein mosquitoes are engineered with genes rendering them refractory to the malaria parasite coupled with a low-threshold, Cas9-based gene ...
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Modeling impact and cost-effectiveness of gene drives for malaria elimination in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

N. Metchanun, C. Borgemeister, G. Amzati, J. von Braun, M. Nikolov, P. Selvaraj and J. Gerardin,  medRxiv,  2020.06.29.20142760. 2021.
Using a spatially explicit, agent-based model of malaria transmission in eight representative provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, we predict the impact and cost-effectiveness of integrating driving-Y gene drive mosquitoes in malaria elimination strategies that ...
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Technical Support to Burkina Faso on Gene Drive Stage 2 Dossier Review

AUDA-NEPAD in partnership with the National Biosafety Agency (ANB) in Burkina Faso organised a training workshop to support to the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) on stage 2 dossier review, on December 3 – 5, 2020, in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. In addition to the NBC ...
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Burkina Faso Stakeholders consultations on Gene Drive Technology for integrated vector management towards malaria elimination

Under its flagship Integrated Vector Management (IVM) Programme, African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) in partnership with the National biosafety agency (ANB) of Burkina Faso organized an information sharing workshop on the applications of "Gene Drive" technology and ...
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The promise of CRISPR and gene drive systems to end malaria in Africa

E. Gomez-Diaz,  ARRIGE ORG,  2020.
Presentation by Elena Gómez Díaz (IPBLN-CSIC, Granada, Spain) at the ARRIGE 2020 meeting on "The promise of CRISPR and gene drive systems to end malaria in Africa". Discussion is included at the end of the Ruud de Maagd presentation.
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Gene drive blocks malaria transmission in mosquitoes

labonline,  labonline,  2020.
Employing a strategy known as ‘population modification’, which involves using a CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system to introduce genes preventing parasite transmission into mosquito chromosomes, University of California (UC) researchers have made a major advance in the use of ...
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Expert advises farmers to adopt gene drive-based pest control technology

S. Thompson,  naija247news,  2020.
Dr Rose Gidado, County Coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology(OFAB), has advised farmers to adopt the gene drive-based pest control technology. Gidado, also Deputy Director, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said the adoption would significantly ...
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A gene-drive rescue system for the modification of malaria mosquito populations

A. Adolfi,  Nature Research Bioengineering Community,  2020.
Mosquito populations can now be reliably modified using 1) antimalarial molecules that block parasite development and 2) a CRISPR-based gene drive system that mediates their rapid spreading across the vector population.
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UC researchers pioneer more effective method of blocking malaria transmission in mosquitoes

UCI,  UCI News,  2020.
University of California, Irvine postdoctoral researcher Adriana Adolfi, in collaboration with colleagues at UCI, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, followed up on the group’s pioneering effort to develop CRISPR-based gene drive systems for making mosquito vectors resistant to ...
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Efficient population modification gene-drive rescue system in the malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi

A. Adolfi, V. M. Gantz, N. Jasinskiene, H.-F. Lee, K. Hwang, G. Terradas, E. A. Bulger, A. Ramaiah, J. B. Bennett, J. J. Emerson, J. M. Marshall, E. Bier and A. A. James,  Nature Communications,  11:5553. 2020.
Here, we develop a recoded gene-drive rescue system for population modification of the malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, that relieves the load in females caused by integration of the drive into the kynurenine hydroxylase gene by rescuing its function. Non-functional resistant ...
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Is Gene Editing the Answer to Eradicating Malaria in Africa?

Staff,  ASH Clinical News,  2020.
Researchers are looking at a new technique to eradicate malaria: Engineering mosquitoes with a “gene drive” – a gene that when inserted into mosquitoes (or other organisms) will be passed on to nearly 100% of the offspring in the next generation, rather than just half the ...
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Inauguration and first meeting of WA-IVM Technical Working Groups

African Union Development Agency – NEPAD (AUDA-NEPAD) in collaboration with the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Environment in Cote d’Ivoire, organized the inaugural meeting of WA-IVM Technical Working Groups (TWGs) from 24 ...
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Vector genetics, insecticide resistance and gene drives: An agent-based modeling approach to evaluate malaria transmission and elimination

P. Selvaraj, E. A. Wenger, D. Bridenbecker, N. Windbichler, J. R. Russell, J. Gerardin, C. A. Bever and M. Nikolov,  PloS Computational Biology,  16:21. 2020.
Here, we investigate the reduced efficacy of current vector control measures in the presence of insecticide resistance and evaluate the likelihood of achieving local malaria elimination using gene drive mosquitoes released into a high transmission setting alongside other vector ...
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Modelling the suppression of a malaria vector using a CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive to reduce female fertility

A. R. North, A. Burt and H. C. J. Godfray,  BMC Biology,  18:98. 2020.
Gene drives based on CRISPR-Cas9 technology are increasingly being considered as tools for reducing the capacity of mosquito populations to transmit malaria, and one of the most promising options is driving endonuclease genes that reduce the fertility of female mosquitoes. Here, ...
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Après les OGM, la nouvelle technique du forçage génétique inquiète écologistes et scientifiques

H. Leussier,  Reporterre,  2020.
Les organismes issus du forçage génétique peuvent transmettre, sans autre intervention humaine, des gènes modifiés à tous leurs descendants. Cette technique permettrait d’éradiquer des espèces nuisibles, comme certains moustiques vecteurs de la malaria. Mais des ...
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Nigerian government restates commitment to safety in applying modern biotechnology

Agencies,  today ng,  2020.
The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has reiterated its commitment to ensure the safety of the public while applying modern biotechnology to boost food security and economic development of citizens. Dr Rufus Ebegba, Director-General, NBMA, gave the assurance at a ...
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Role of gene drives in malaria elimination strategy: modeling impact and cost-effectiveness in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

N. Metchanun, C. Borgemeister, J. von Braun, M. Nikolov, P. Selvaraj and J. Gerardin,  medRxiv,  2020.
The tremendous burden of malaria has led to renewed efforts on malaria elimination and the development of novel tools for application where existing tools fall short. Gene drive mosquitoes, where transgenes and their associated phenotypes are efficiently propagated to future ...
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Position Paper on Integrated Vector Management: Strengthening AU Members’ Regulatory Capacities for Responsible Research Towards Elimination of Malaria in Africa

African Union Development Agency - NEPAD,  AUDA-NEPAD,  2020.
Africa continues to bear a heavy brunt of the malaria which is a disease transmitted by the female Anopheles mosquito. Thousands of lives, mostly of young children, are lost every year; which undermines efforts deployed at various levels for increased life expectancy and improved ...
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Gene editing and the war against malaria

E. Bier and E. Sobber,  American Scientist,  102:162. 2020.
Malaria is a devastating disease transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes. It kills more than 400,000 people per year, more than half of those deaths being children 5 years old or younger. CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) is a new ...
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Gene Drives in Africa: Civil Society Speaks Out

African Centre for Biodiversity,  African Centre for Biodiversity,  2019.
On Monday 1st July 2019, Target Malaria announced the release of genetically modified (GM) sterile male mosquitoes in Bana, a village in Burkina Faso – the first GM insect to be released in Africa. This is Phase I – by Phase III, Target Malaria aims to release gene drive ...
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Why is this African village letting mosquitoes in?

BBC,  BBC,  2018.
This is a BBC spot about the first release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Africa by the Target Malaria team. Very little information about gene drive but the context of this spot is notable.
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Just Say No to Agricultural Gene Drives

Bassey-Orovwuje, M.,  Project Syndicate,  2018.
By forcing laboratory-made genes on an entire population or species, cutting-edge gene-drive technologies have the power to transform entire ecosystems in one fell swoop. But where leading industrial agriculture firms see dollar signs, farmers in the regions where gene drives ...
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The Impact of Pyrethroid Resistance on the Efficacy of Insecticide-Treated Bed Nets against African Anopheline Mosquitoes: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

C. Strode, S. Donegan, P. Garner, A. A. Enayati and J. Hemingway,  PLOS Medicine,  11:e1001619. 2014.
This meta-analysis found that ITNs are more effective than UTNs regardless of resistance. There appears to be a relationship between resistance and the RD for mosquito mortality in laboratory and field studies. However, the substantive heterogeneity in the studies' results and ...
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Pyrethroid resistance in African anopheline mosquitoes: what are the implications for malaria control?

H. Ranson, R. N’Guessan, J. Lines, N. Moiroux, Z. Nkuni and V. Corbel,  Trends in Parasitology,  27:91-98. 2011.
The use of pyrethroid insecticides in malaria vector control has increased dramatically in the past decade through the scale up of insecticide treated net distribution programmes and indoor residual spraying campaigns. Inevitably, the major malaria vectors have developed ...
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