Keywords: Anopheles

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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Comprehensive characterization of a transgene insertion in a highly repetitive, centromeric region of Anopheles mosquitoes

M. Vitale, C. Leo, T. Courty, N. Kranjc, J. B. Connolly, G. Morselli, C. Bamikole, R. E. Haghighat-Khah, F. Bernardini and S. Fuchs,  Pathogens and Global Health,  2022.
The availability of the genomic sequence of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae has in recent years sparked the development of transgenic technologies with the potential to be used as novel vector control tools. These technologies rely on genome editing that confer traits able ...
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Novel gene drive based on eliciting piRNA biogenesis in insect pests

C. Henderson and B. Christina,  Rutgers Research,  2022.
Rutgers researchers have developed a potential permanent solution to persistent pest control issues by developing a system for genetic modification which could reduce the transmission of vector borne diseases (like malaria) from their insect vectors, or to establish expression ...
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A population modification gene drive targeting both Saglin and Lipophorin disables Plasmodium transmission in Anopheles mosquitoes

E. I. Green, E. Jaouen, D. Klug, R. P. Olmo, A. Gautier, S. A. Blandin and E. Marois,  bioRxiv,  2022.07.08.499187. 2022.
Lipophorin is an essential, highly expressed lipid transporter protein that is secreted and circulates in insect hemolymph. We hijacked the Anopheles gambiae Lipophorin gene to make it co-express a single-chain version of antibody 2A10, which binds sporozoites of the malaria ...
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Larval mosquito management and risk to aquatic ecosystems: A comparative approach including current tactics and gene-drive Anopheles techniques

R. K. D. Peterson and M. G. Rolston,  Transgenic Research,  2022.
Genetic engineering of mosquitoes represents a promising tactic for reducing human suffering from malaria. Gene-drive techniques being developed that suppress or modify populations of Anopheles gambiae have the potential to be used with, or even possibly obviate, microbial and ...
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Sexual transmission of Anopheles gambiae densovirus (AgDNV) leads to disseminated infection in mated females

K. L. Werling, R. M. Johnson, H. C. Metz and J. L. Rasgon,  Parasites and Vectors,  15:219. 2022.
Anopheles gambiae densovirus (AgDNV) is an insect-specific, single-stranded DNA virus that infects An. gambiae sensu stricto (s.s.), the major mosquito species responsible for transmitting malaria parasites throughout sub-Saharan Africa. AgDNV is a benign virus that is very ...
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Testing non-autonomous antimalarial gene drive effectors using self-eliminating drivers in the African mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae

D. A. Ellis, G. Avraam, A. Hoermann, C. A. S. Wyer, Y. X. Ong, G. K. Christophides and N. Windbichler,  PLOS Genetics,  18:e1010244. 2022.
Author summary Gene drive is a method that allows the genetic modification of entire populations of harmful organisms. Their application to tackle invasive species, agricultural pests or insect disease vectors has been suggested. For example, they could reduce the capacity of ...
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Modifying mosquitoes to suppress disease transmission: Is the long wait over?

J. R. Powell,  Genetics,  2022.
For more than 50 years it has been a dream of medical entomologists and public health workers to control diseases like malaria and dengue fever by modifying, through genetics and other methods, the arthropods that transmit them to humans. A brief synopsis of the history of ...
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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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Wolbachia 16S rRNA haplotypes detected in wild Anopheles stephensi in eastern Ethiopia

E. Waymire, S. Duddu, S. Yared, D. Getachew, D. Dengela, S. R. Bordenstein, M. Balkew, S. Zohdy, S. R. Irish and T. E. Carter,  Parasites and Vectors,  15:178. 2022.
About two out of three Ethiopians are at risk of malaria, a disease caused by the parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Anopheles stephensi, an invasive vector typically found in South Asia and the Middle East, was recently found to be distributed across eastern ...
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CRISPR/Cas9 mediates efficient site-specific mutagenesis of the odorant receptor co-receptor (Orco) in the malaria vector Anopheles sinensis

Y. Wang, X. F. He, L. Qiao, Z. R. Yu, B. Chen and Z. B. He,  Pest Management Science,  11. 2022.
BACKGROUND Anopheles sinensis is the most widely distributed mosquito species and is the main transmitter of Plasmodium vivax malaria in China. Most previous research has focused on the mechanistic understanding of biological processes in An. sinensis and novel ways of ...
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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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Wolbachia endosymbionts in two Anopheles species indicates independent acquisitions and lack of prophage elements

S. Quek, L. Cerdeira, C. L. Jeffries, S. Tomlinson, T. Walker, G. L. Hughes and E. Heinz,  Microbial Genomics,  8. 2022.
Wolbachia is a genus of obligate bacterial endosymbionts that infect a diverse range of arthropod species as well as filarial nematodes, with its single described species, Wolbachia pipientis, divided into several ‘supergroups’ based on multilocus sequence typing. Wolbachia ...
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New frontiers in vector control

WHO,  World Health Organization,  2022.
Ever since Sir Ronald Ross discovered malaria parasites in an Anopheles mosquito in 1897, controlling insect vectors has played an increasingly important role in reducing the burden of the disease. For decades after World War II, indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides ...
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Cas9-mediated maternal-effect and derived resistance alleles in a gene-drive strain of the African malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae

R. Carballar-Lejarazú, T. Tushar, T. B. Pham and A. A. James,  Genetics,  2022.
CRISPR/Cas9 technologies are important tools for the development of gene-drive systems to modify mosquito vector populations to control the transmission of pathogens that cause diseases such as malaria. However, one of the challenges for current Cas9-based drive systems is their ...
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Expanding the flexibility of genome editing approaches for population control of the malaria mosquito

N. Kranjc,  Imperial College London-PhD,  2022.
Discovery and adaptation of CRISPR-Cas systems for genome editing have allowed us to gain an efficient and yet simple tool for genetic manipulation in various fields of molecular biology and biotechnology. One of the most promising applications is the use of CRISPR-Cas9 ...
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Mathematical modelling to assess the feasibility of Wolbachia in malaria vector biocontrol

S. Andreychuk and L. Yakob,  Journal of Theoretical Biology,  542. 2022.
Releasing mosquitoes transinfected with the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia is a novel strategy for interrupting vector-borne pathogen transmission. Following its success in controlling arboviruses spread by Aedes aegypti, this technology is being adapted for anopheline malaria ...
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Finding the strongest gene drive: Simulations reveal unexpected performance differences between Anopheles homing suppression drive candidates

S. E. Champer, I. K. Kim, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  bioRxiv,  2022.03.28.486009. 2022.
Recent experiments have produced several Anopheles gambiae homing gene drives that disrupt female fertility genes, thereby eventually inducing population collapse. Such drives may be highly effective tools to combat malaria. One such homing drive, based on the zpg promoter ...
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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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A UC malaria initiative program receives grant for work researching genetically engineered mosquitoes

S. Slater,  The California Aggie,  2022.
Malaria, a mosquito-borne infectious disease, was discovered in 1880, and has remained widespread in tropical regions around the equator including parts of Africa, Asia and Latin America, resulting in thousands of deaths and a significant blow to economic development in these ...
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Gene drive mosquitoes can aid malaria elimination by retarding Plasmodium sporogonic development

A. Hoermann, T. Habtewold, P. Selvaraj, G. Del Corsano, P. Capriotti, M. G. Inghilterra, K. M. Temesgen, G. K. Christophides and N. Windbichler,  bioRxiv,  2022.02.15.480588. 2022.
Gene drives hold promise for the genetic control of malaria vectors. The development of vector population modification strategies hinges on the availability of effector mechanisms impeding parasite development in transgenic mosquitoes. We augmented a midgut gene of the malaria ...
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An Ethical Overview of the CRISPR-Based Elimination of Anopheles gambiae to Combat Malaria

I. J. Wise and P. Borry,  Journal of Bioethical Inquiry,  2022.
Approximately a quarter of a billion people around the world suffer from malaria each year. Most cases are located in sub-Saharan Africa where Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes are the principal vectors of this public health problem. With the use of CRISPR-based gene drives, the ...
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C-type lectin 4 regulates broad-spectrum melanization-based refractoriness to malaria parasites

M. L. Simões, Y. Dong, G. Mlambo and G. Dimopoulos,  PLOS Biology,  20:e3001515. 2022.
Anopheles gambiae melanization-based refractoriness to the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum has rarely been observed in either laboratory or natural conditions, in contrast to the rodent model malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei that can become completely melanized by ...
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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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Scientists find transmission chain-breaker, give new hope for fight against malaria

ANI,  ANI,  2022.
A recent study, published online in 'PLoS Biology', has revealed that blocking a key protein found in Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes -- the principal vector for malaria transmission to humans in Africa could thwart infection with malaria parasites and thus prevent them from ...
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Beyond the eye: Kynurenine pathway impairment causes midgut homeostasis dysfunction and survival and reproductive costs in blood-feeding mosquitoes

V. Bottino-Rojas, I. Ferreira, R. D. Nunes, X. Feng, T. B. Pham, A. Kelsey, R. Carballar-Lejarazú, V. Gantz, P. L. Oliveira and A. A. James,  Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology,  103720. 2022.
Insect ommochrome biosynthesis pathways metabolize tryptophan to generate eye-color pigments and naturally occurring alleles of pathway genes are useful phenotypic markers in transgenesis studies. Pleiotropic effects of mutations in some genes exert a load on both survival and ...
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Driving the Self-Destruction of Malaria-Transmitting Mosquitos

H. Aliouche,  News Medical Life Sciences,  2021.
Self-destruction of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes can be driven by gene drives deployed to manipulate natural populations. In particular, they can be used to reduce the number of individuals in a population or to modify their composition; this is particularly useful when such ...
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Three Decades of Malaria Vector Control in Sudan: The Plausible Role of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT)

A. Elaagip and A. Adedapo,  Genetically Modified and other Innovative Vector Control Technologies,  2021.
In Northern State, Sudan, a feasibility study for sterile insect technique (SIT) in an area-wide integrated pest management was established for the first time in an African country. The aim of the study was to see whether it is feasible, from a technical, an economical and a ...
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Modeling impact and cost-effectiveness of driving-Y 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,  Evolutionary Applications,  2021.
Malaria elimination will be challenging in countries that currently continue to bear high malaria burden. Sex-ratio distorting gene drives, such as driving-Y, could play a role in an integrated elimination strategy if they can effectively suppress vector populations. Using a ...
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Wolbachia cifB induces cytoplasmic incompatibility in the malaria mosquito vector

K. L. Adams, D. G. Abernathy, B. C. Willett, E. K. Selland, M. A. Itoe and F. Catteruccia,  Nature Microbiology,  6:1575-1582. 2021.
Wolbachia, a maternally inherited intracellular bacterial species, can manipulate host insect reproduction by cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), which results in embryo lethality in crosses between infected males and uninfected females. CI is encoded by two prophage genes, cifA ...
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High-resolution in situ analysis of Cas9 germline transcript distributions in gene-drive Anopheles mosquitoes

G. Terradas, A. Hermann, A. A. James, W. McGinnis and E. Bier,  G3-Genes Genomes Genetics,  2021.
Gene drives are programmable genetic elements that can spread beneficial traits into wild populations to aid in vector-borne pathogen control. Two different drives have been developed for population modification of mosquito vectors. The Reckh drive (vasa-Cas9) in Anopheles ...
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Two years of laboratory studies on the non gene drive genetically modified sterile male mosquitoes concluded successfully in Mali

M. Coulibaly,  Target Malaria,  2021.
The Target Malaria Mali team at the Malaria Research and Training Centre (MRTC) based at the University of Sciences, Techniques and Technologies of Bamako (USTTB) is proud to have been the first Malian research team to work on non gene drive genetically modified sterile male ...
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Population replacement gene drive characteristics for malaria elimination in a range of seasonal transmission settings: a modeling study

S. Leung, N. Windbichler, E. Wenger, C. Bever and P. Selvaraj,  bioRxiv,  2021.11.01.466856. 2021.
Genetically engineering mosquitoes is a promising new vector control strategy to reinvigorate the fight against malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Using an agent-based model of malaria transmission with vector genetics, we examine the impacts of releasing population-replacement gene ...
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Prevalence and molecular characterization of Wolbachia in field-collected Aedes albopictus, Anopheles sinensis, Armigeres subalbatus, Culex pipiens and Cx. tritaeniorhynchus in China

Y. Yang, Y. He, G. Zhu, J. Zhang, Z. Gong, S. Huang, G. Lu, Y. Peng, Y. Meng, X. Hao, C. Wang, J. Sun and S. Shang,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  15:e0009911. 2021.
Wolbachia are maternally transmitted intracellular bacteria that can naturally and artificially infect arthropods and nematodes. Recently, they were applied to control the spread of mosquito-borne pathogens by causing cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) between germ cells of females ...
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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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Resistance to a CRISPR-based gene drive at an evolutionarily conserved site is revealed by mimicking genotype fixation

S. Fuchs, W. T. Garrood, A. Beber, A. Hammond, R. Galizi, M. Gribble, G. Morselli, T.-Y. J. Hui, K. Willis, N. Kranjc, A. Burt, A. Crisanti and T. Nolan,  PLOS Genetics,  17. 2021.
Author summary Gene drives have the potential to be applied as a novel control strategy of disease-transmitting mosquitoes, by spreading genetic traits that suppress or modify the target population. Many gene drive elements work by recognising and cutting a specific target ...
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Predicting the spread and persistence of genetically modified dominant sterile male mosquitoes

A. Ickowicz, S. D. Foster, G. R. Hosack and K. R. Hayes,  Parasites and Vectors,  14:480. 2021.
Reproductive containment provides an opportunity to implement a staged-release strategy for genetic control of malaria vectors, in particular allowing predictions about the spread and persistence of (self-limiting) sterile and male-biased strains to be compared to outcomes before ...
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Mosquito transgenesis for malaria control

S. Dong, Y. Dong, M. L. Simões and G. Dimopoulos,  Trends in Parasitology,  2021.
Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases. Because of the ineffectiveness of current malaria-control methods, several novel mosquito vector-based control strategies have been proposed to supplement existing control strategies. Mosquito transgenesis and gene drive have emerged as ...
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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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The Complex Lives of Mosquitoes: The Key for Malaria Control

F. Okumu,  ISGlobal,  2021.
Mosquitoes spread diseases to millions of people around the world, yet they remain poorly understood by most. Studying their biology and behaviours can help us combat, and eventually eliminate, dangerous diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.There are nearly 3,500 species of ...
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Breakthrough in non-GMO malaria control

C. Robinson and J. Matthews,  GM Watch,  2021.
A just-published study carried out in a high-security lab claims to show that a CRISPR gene drive (a way of forcing a heritable genetic modification through a whole species or population) can crash populations of malaria-spreading mosquitoes. But why crash mosquito populations ...
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Genetic engineering may rid world of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes

Y. Steinbuch,  New York Post,  2021.
Scientists have eradicated a population of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes by using genetic engineering to make the females infertile — in what the lead researcher called a possible “game-changer in bringing about malaria elimination.” A team of researchers — led by ...
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Gene-Drive Technology Could Decimate Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes–Scientists Use CRISPR to Modify the Insects’ Genes

J. Henry,  Tech Times,  2021.
Gene-drive technology can now suppress the growing numbers of mosquitoes that carry malaria. A group of researchers discovered that this gene-editing technique can eradicate the vectors that could rapidly populate in a particular environment. A mosquito (Anopheles albimanus) is ...
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Malaria-carrying mosquitoes could be bred out of existence using ‘gene drive’ technology

A. Wilkins,  METRO,  2021.
Malaria-carrying mosquitoes have been eliminated using ‘gene drive’ technology in a nature-like environment, in a world-first study. By altering a gene that blocks female mosquito reproduction, and allowing that gene to spread, researchers found they could ensure complete ...
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Scientists reveal controversial genetically modified mosquitoes in high-security lab

The Frontier Post,  The Frontier Post,  2021.
Many years of additional research will be needed to prove the approach works and the mosquitoes would be safe to release into the wild. The project would also require regulatory approval and agreement by local residents in areas where those mosquitoes live, mostly in sub-Saharan ...
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Genetic engineering test with mosquitoes ‘may be game changer’ in eliminating malaria

L. Geddes,  The Guardian,  2021.
Scientists have successfully wiped out a population of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes by using a radical form of genetic engineering to render the females infertile – in the most advanced and largest ever test of use of the technology to fight the disease. As well as bringing ...
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How An Altered Strand Of DNA Can Cause Malaria-Spreading Mosquitoes To Self-Destruct

R. Stein,  NPR,  2021.
For the first time, scientists have shown that a new kind of genetic engineering can crash populations of malaria-spreading mosquitoes. In the landmark study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications, researchers placed the genetically modified mosquitoes in a ...
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A lab experiment shows that we could engineer malaria-carrying mosquitoes to kill themselves off

A. Micu,  ZME Science,  2021.
A new paper showcases how genetic engineering can be used to cause populations of malaria-spreading mosquitoes to self-destroy. An international research effort has shown, in the context of a lab experiment, that male mosquitoes engineered to carry a certain strand of DNA can ...
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Malarial mosquitoes suppressed in experiments that mimic natural environments

H. Dunning,  Phys Org,  2021.
Researchers have shown "gene drive" technology, which spreads a genetic modification blocking female reproduction, works in natural-like settings. The team, led by researchers from Imperial College London, Polo GGB and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine were able to suppress ...
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Horizontal Transmission of the Symbiont Microsporidia MB in Anopheles arabiensis

G. Nattoh, T. Maina, E. E. Makhulu, L. Mbaisi, E. Mararo, F. G. Otieno, T. Bukhari, T. O. Onchuru, E. Teal, J. Paredes, J. L. Bargul, D. M. Mburu, E. A. Onyango, G. Magoma, S. P. Sinkins and J. K. Herren,  Frontiers in Microbiology,  12. 2021.
The recently discovered Anopheles symbiont, Microsporidia MB, has a strong malaria transmission-blocking phenotype in Anopheles arabiensis, the predominant Anopheles gambiae species complex member in many active transmission areas in eastern Africa. The ability of Microsporidia ...
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Gene-drive suppression of mosquito populations in large cages as a bridge between lab and field

A. Hammond, P. Pollegioni, T. Persampieri, A. North, R. Minuz, A. Trusso, A. Bucci, K. Kyrou, I. Morianou, A. Simoni, T. Nolan, R. Müller and A. Crisanti,  Nature Communications,  12:4589. 2021.
CRISPR-based gene-drives targeting the gene doublesex in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae effectively suppressed the reproductive capability of mosquito populations reared in small laboratory cages. To bridge the gap between laboratory and the field, this gene-drive ...
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Resistance to a CRISPR-based gene drive at an evolutionarily conserved site is revealed by mimicking genotype fixation

S. Fuchs, W. Garrood, A. Beber, A. Hammond, R. Galizi, M. Gribble, G. Morselli, T.-Y. Hui, K. Willis, N. Kranjc, A. Burt, T. Nolan and A. Crisanti,  bioRxiv,  2021.
CRISPR-based homing gene drives can be designed to disrupt essential genes whilst biasing their own inheritance, leading to suppression of mosquito populations in the laboratory. This class of gene drives relies on CRISPR-Cas9 cleavage of a target sequence and copying ...
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Part of ‘master plan’: Researchers receive grant to fund research on malaria

L. Huang,  The Daily Californian,  2021.
Early this month, The Marshall Lab at UC Berkeley received an $800,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund its research on genetics-based malaria mosquito control. The Marshall Lab is one of many teams playing a part in the Gates Foundation’s decades-long ...
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Africa Turning to Gene Drive Technology for Malaria Elimination

M. Hearty,  Science Africa,  2021.
With Africa accounting for nine out of ten malaria cases globally, the continent is turning to gene drive technology to control the disease. This is according to a decision made by African leaders at the 29th Summit of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union held in ...
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A new tool in the global fight against malaria

S. Laux,  Brighter World,  2021.
McMaster researchers with the Institute on Ethics & Policy for Innovation (IEPI) have played a key role in developing updated international guidelines that will inform research and development on genetically modified mosquitoes – an initiative that could significantly affect ...
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Marshall Lab receives Gates grant for genetics-based malaria mosquito control

Berkeley Public Health,  Berkeley Public Health,  2021.
Berkeley Public Health Associate Professor John Marshall, PhD, and Assistant Project Scientist Héctor Sánchez, PhD, have received an $800,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support their lab’s work in genetics-based malaria mosquito control. Malaria, the ...
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Fighting disease: How are genetically engineered mosquitoes regulated?

A. Julie,  Global News,  2021.
Mosquitoes have long been associated with the spread of diseases like malaria, dengue fever and the Zika virus. But scientists around the world have been exploring the possibility that mosquitoes could also be key to slowing the spread of disease. By genetically altering the DNA ...
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Scientists develop new technology that gives greater control for managing malaria mosquitoes

Keele University,  Phy Org,  2021.
Researchers including a Keele University scientist have engineered an innovative approach to disable highly powerful genetic devices that control harmful insect populations. Dr. Roberto Galizi from Keele's School of Life Sciences was part of a research team that previously ...
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A genetically encoded anti-CRISPR protein constrains gene drive spread and prevents population suppression

C. Taxiarchi, A. Beaghton, N. I. Don, K. Kyrou, M. Gribble, D. Shittu, S. P. Collins, C. L. Beisel, R. Galizi and A. Crisanti,  Nature Communications,  12:3977. 2021.
CRISPR-based gene drives offer promising means to reduce the burden of pests and vector-borne diseases. These techniques consist of releasing genetically modified organisms carrying CRISPR-Cas nucleases designed to bias their inheritance and rapidly propagate desired ...
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CRISPR-mediated knock-in of transgenes into the malaria vector Anopheles funestus

C. Quinn, A. Anthousi, C. Wondji and T. Nolan,  G3 Genes Genomes Genetics,  11. 2021.
The ability to introduce mutations, or transgenes, of choice to precise genomic locations has revolutionized our ability to understand how genes and organisms work. In many mosquito species that are vectors of various human diseases, the advent of CRISPR genome editing tools has ...
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Stable high-density and maternally inherited Wolbachia infections in Anopheles moucheti and Anopheles demeilloni mosquitoes

T. Walker, S. Quek, C. L. Jeffries, J. Bandibabone, V. Dhokiya, R. Bamou, M. Kristan, L. A. Messenger, A. Gidley, E. A. Hornett, E. R. Anderson, C. Cansado-Utrilla, S. Hegde, C. Bantuzeko, J. C. Stevenson, N. F. Lobo, S. C. Wagstaff, C. A. Nkondjio, S. R.,  Current Biology,  31:2310. 2021.
Wolbachia, a widespread bacterium that can reduce pathogen transmission in mosquitoes, has recently been reported to be present in Anopheles (An.) species. In wild populations of the An. gambiae complex, the primary vectors of Plasmodium malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolbachia ...
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Vector control: Discovery of Wolbachia in malaria vectors

P. A. Ross and A. A. Hoffmann,  Current Biology,  31:R738-R740. 2021.
Wolbachia bacteria are being widely released for suppression of dengue transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Walker, Quek, Jeffries and colleagues present robust evidence for natural Wolbachia infections in malaria-vectoring Anopheles mosquitoes, paving the way for new ...
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What is wrong in extinguishing a species? Charting the Ethical Challenges of using Gene-Drive Technologies to eradicate A. gambiae vector populations

M. Annoni and T. Pievani,  Biolaw Journal-Rivista Di Biodiritto,  2021.
This article analyses three ethical arguments against the use of gene-drive technologies to control for, and possibly extinguish, a particular species of vector mosquitoes (Anopheles gambiae) causing the malaria infection. We conclude that none of these arguments is truly ...
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Improving mosquito control strategies with population genomics

T. L. Schmidt, N. M. Endersby-Harshman and A. A. Hoffmann,  Trends in Parasitology,  37:907-921. 2021.
Mosquito control strategies increasingly apply knowledge from population genomics research. This review highlights recent applications to three research domains: mosquito invasions, insecticide resistance evolution, and rear and release programs. Current research trends follow ...
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The origin of island populations of the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles coluzzii

M. Campos, M. Hanemaaijer, H. Gripkey, T. C. Collier, Y. S. Lee, A. J. Cornel, J. Pinto, D. Ayala, H. Rompao and G. C. Lanzaro,  Communications Biology,  4:9. 2021.
Anopheles coluzzii is a major malaria vector throughout its distribution in west-central Africa. Here we present a whole-genome study of 142 specimens from nine countries in continental Africa and three islands in the Gulf of Guinea. This sample set covers a large part of this ...
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Small-Cage Laboratory Trials of Genetically-Engineered Anopheline Mosquitoes

R. Carballar-Lejarazú, T. B. Pham, V. Bottino-Rojas, A. Adolfi and A. A. James,  J Vis Exp,  2021.
Control of mosquito-borne pathogens using genetically-modified vectors has been proposed as a promising tool to complement conventional control strategies. CRISPR-based homing gene drive systems have made transgenic technologies more accessible within the scientific community. ...
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A natural symbiotic bacterium drives mosquito refractoriness to Plasmodium infection via secretion of an antimalarial lipase

H. Gao, L. Bai, Y. M. Jiang, W. Huang, L. L. Wang, S. G. Li, G. D. Zhu, D. Q. Wang, Z. H. Huang, X. S. Li, J. Cao, L. B. Jiang, M. Jacobs-Lorena, S. Zhan and S. B. Wang,  Nature Microbiology,  25. 2021.
The stalling global progress in the fight against malaria prompts the urgent need to develop new intervention strategies. Whilst engineered symbiotic bacteria have been shown to confer mosquito resistance to parasite infection, a major challenge for field implementation is to ...
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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.