Keywords: Anopheles

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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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 ...
Keywords: , , , ,

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. ...
Keywords: , , , ,

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.
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 ...
Keywords: , , , ,

“Maskandi experience”: exploring the use of a cultural song for community engagement in preparation for a pilot Sterile Insect Technique release programme for malaria vector control in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa 2019

P. N. Manana, S. Jewett, J. Zikhali, D. Dlamini, N. Mabaso, Z. Mlambo, R. Ngobese and G. Munhenga,  Malaria Journal,  20:11. 2021.
Background An assessment of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) as a complementary malaria vector control tool, is at an advanced stage in South Africa. The technique involves the release of laboratory-reared sterilized male mosquitoes of the major malaria vector Anopheles ...
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Estimates of the population size and dispersal range of Anopheles arabiensis in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: implications for a planned pilot programme to release sterile male mosquitoes

M. L. Kaiser, O. R. Wood, D. Damiens, B. D. Brooke, L. L. Koekemoer and G. Munhenga,  Parasites and Vectors,  14:18. 2021.
The Anopheles gambiae complex and An. funestus group species made up the majority of wild collections along with other anophelines. The An. arabiensis population size was estimated to be between 550 and 9500 males per hectare depending on time of year, weather conditions and ...
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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. ...
Keywords: , , , ,

Curbing Malaria’s Spread by Genetic Engineering

Anonymous,  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News,  2021.
There is an urgent need to find new ways to combat the growing mosquito resistance to pesticides and malaria parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs. Gene drives are being tested as a new approach. In a new study, researchers from the Imperial College London reported that their ...
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New genetic modification could cut malaria spread

Staff Writers,  MALAYSIA NOW,  2021.
Altering a mosquito’s gut genes to make them spread antimalarial genes to the next generation of their species shows promise as an approach to curb malaria, suggests a preliminary study published in eLife on Tuesday. The study is the latest in a series of steps being taken ...
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Researchers Using Mutant Mosquitoes To End Malaria, Which Kills 4 Lakh Per Year

M. Mohanti,  India Times,  2021.
Every year, more than 22 crore people get infected with malaria and more than 4 lakh die because of it. In fact, in 2019, nearly half of the world's population was at risk of malaria. According to WHO, infants or children aged under 5 years are the most vulnerable group, ...
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Converting endogenous genes of the malaria mosquito into simple non-autonomous gene drives for population replacement

A. Hoermann, S. Tapanelli, P. Capriotti, G. Del Corsano, E. K. G. Masters, T. Habtewold, G. K. Christophides and N. Windbichler,  eLife,  10. 2021.
Gene drives for mosquito population replacement are promising tools for malaria control. However, there is currently no clear pathway for safely testing such tools in endemic countries. The lack of well-characterized promoters for infection-relevant tissues and regulatory hurdles ...
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Evidence for natural hybridization and novel Wolbachia strain superinfections in the Anopheles gambiae complex from Guinea

C. L. Jeffries, C. Cansado-Utrilla, A. H. Beavogui, C. Stica, E. K. Lama, M. Kristan, S. R. Irish and T. Walker,  Royal Society Open Science,  8:18. 2021.
Wolbachia, a widespread bacterium which can influence mosquito-borne pathogen transmission, has recently been detected within Anopheles (An.) species that are malaria vectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although studies have reported Wolbachia strains in the An. gambiae complex, ...
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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,  bioRxiv,  2021.03.31.437891. 2021.
We describe herein an optimised transformation system based on the germline delivery of CRISPR components that allows efficient cleavage of a previously validated genomic site and preferential repair of these cut sites via homology-directed repair (HDR), which allows introduction ...
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Systematic identification of plausible pathways to potential harm via problem formulation for investigational releases of a population suppression gene drive to control the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae in West Africa

J. B. Connolly, J. D. Mumford, S. Fuchs, G. Turner, C. Beech, A. R. North and A. Burt,  Malaria Journal,  20:170. 2021.
Population suppression gene drive has been proposed as a strategy for malaria vector control. A CRISPR-Cas9-based transgene homing at the doublesex locus (dsxFCRISPRh) has recently been shown to increase rapidly in frequency in, and suppress, caged laboratory populations of the ...
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Double drives and private alleles for localised population genetic control

K. Willis and A. Burt,  PLOS Genetics,  17. 2021.
ynthetic gene drive systems that are able to spread though populations because they are inherited at a greater-than-Mendelian rate have the potential to form the basis for new, highly efficient pest control measures. The most efficient such strategies use natural gene flow to ...
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Detailed genome map of malaria vector

The Hindu,  Aspirant World,  2021.
In order to engineer advanced forms of defence against malaria transmission, including targeted CRISPR and gene drive–based strategies, scientists require intricate knowledge of the genomes of vector mosquitoes. CRISPR technology is a gene-editing tool which allows ...
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Researchers Unveil Detailed Genome of Invasive Malaria Mosquito

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
Mosquito-transmitted malaria remains the number one worldwide killer among vector-borne diseases, claiming more than 400,000 human lives in 2019. In order to engineer advanced forms of defense against malaria transmission, including targeted CRISPR and gene drive-based ...
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Hidden genomic features of an invasive malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, revealed by a chromosome-level genome assembly

M. Chakraborty, A. Ramaiah, A. Adolfi, P. Halas, B. Kaduskar, L. T. Ngo, S. Jayaprasad, K. Paul, S. Whadgar, S. Srinivasan, S. Subramani, E. Bier, A. A. James and J. J. Emerson,  BMC Biology,  19:28. 2021.
The mosquito Anopheles stephensi is a vector of urban malaria in Asia that recently invaded Africa. Studying the genetic basis of vectorial capacity and engineering genetic interventions are both impeded by limitations of a vector’s genome assembly. The existing assemblies of ...
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Experts oppose plan to breed mosquitoes

T. Abet,  Daily Monitor,  2021.
Environmentalists have opposed the plan to breed and release genetically modified mosquitoes in the country to curb malaria prevalence. They say the act presents substantial human and environmental health risks. Their objection follows last week’s announcement by scientists ...
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Genetically modified mosquitoes to curb malaria

T. Abet,  Daily Monitor,  2021.
Scientists at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) have started breeding mosquitoes with the aim of modifying their genetic materials and releasing them to the environment to curb malaria transmission. The genetically modified mosquitoes, according to the scientists, do not ...
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New genetically modified mosquitoes to help fight malaria

D. Zirimala,  Capital Radio FM,  2021.
According to Dr. Jonathan Kayondo, the principal investigator of the Target Malaria project, the genetically modified mosquitoes do not transmit malaria parasites when they bite. These are made infertile so that when they cross breed with the female anopheles mosquito, they are ...
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Drivers of mosquito mating

N. C. Manoukis,  Science,  371:340. 2021.
Gene drive systems are based on the release of organisms whose genomes have been modified or engineered to spread a desired allele or trait (such as resistance to the parasites that cause malaria) through a population. Success will depend on the release of genetically modified ...
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Clock genes and environmental cues coordinate Anopheles pheromone synthesis, swarming, and mating

G. Wang, J. Vega-Rodríguez, A. Diabate, J. Liu, C. Cui, C. Nignan, L. Dong, F. Li, C. O. Ouedrago, A. M. Bandaogo, P. S. Sawadogo, H. Maiga, T. L. Alves e Silva, T. V. Pascini, S. Wang and M. Jacobs-Lorena,  Science,  371:411. 2021.
Knockdown of per and tim expression affects Anopheles gambiae s.s. and Anopheles stephensi male mating in the laboratory, and it reduces male An. coluzzii swarming and mating under semifield conditions. Light and temperature affect mosquito mating, possibly by modulating per ...
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Double drives and private alleles for localised population genetic control

K. Willis and A. Burt,  bioRxiv,  2021.01.08.425856. 2021.
In this paper we propose and model a series of low threshold double drive designs for population suppression, each consisting of two constructs, one imposing a reproductive load on the population and the other inserted into a differentiated locus and controlling the drive of the ...
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Mosquito population modification: the drive to malaria eradication

A. A. James,  BugBitten BMC,  2020.
We have had considerable success in the past demonstrating that we can use modern molecular biological and insect transgenesis tools to make genes that prevent mosquitoes from passing on parasites (see 1 and 2). We have focused most recently on laboratory experiments to find ways ...
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Assessment of a Novel Adult Mass-Rearing Cage for Aedes albopictus (Skuse) and Anopheles arabiensis (Patton).

H. Maïga, W. Mamai, N. S. Bimbilé Somda, T. Wallner, B. S. Poda, G. Salvador-Herranz, R. Argiles-Herrero, H. Yamada and J. Bouyer,  Insects,  11:801. 2020.
Successful implementation of the sterile insect technique (SIT) against Aedes albopictus and Anopheles arabiensis relies on a continuous supply of sterile males. To meet this requirement, optimization of the mass-rearing techniques is needed. This study, therefore, aims to assess ...
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Vector-Focused Approaches to Curb Malaria Transmission in the Brazilian Amazon: An Overview of Current and Future Challenges and Strategies

E. M. Rocha, R. D. Katak, J. C. de Oliveira, M. D. Araujo, B. C. Carlos, R. Galizi, F. Tripet, O. Marinotti and J. A. Souza,  Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease,  5. 2020.
Here we present an overview on both conventional and novel promising vector-focused tools to curb malaria transmission in the Brazilian Amazon. If well designed and employed, vector-based approaches may improve the implementation of malaria-control programs, particularly in ...
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Assessing the acoustic behaviour of Anopheles gambiae (s.l.) dsxF mutants: implications for vector control

M. P. Su, M. Georgiades, J. Bagi, K. Kyrou, A. Crisanti and J. T. Albert,  Parasites and Vectors,  13:507. 2020.
We analysed sound emissions and acoustic preference in a doublesex mutant previously used to collapse Anopheles gambiae (s.l.) cages.
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Next-generation gene drive for population modification of the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae

R. Carballar-Lejarazú, C. Ogaugwu, T. Tushar, A. Kelsey, T. B. Pham, J. Murphy, H. Schmidt, Y. Lee, G. C. Lanzaro and A. A. James,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  202010214. 2020.
We show here that the Cas9/guide RNA-based gene-drive components of a genetically-engineered malaria mosquito vector, Anopheles gambiae, achieve key target product profile requirements for efficacy and performance.
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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, E. A. Bulger, A. Ramaiah, J. B. Bennett, G. Terradas, J. J. Emerson, J. M. Marshall, E. Bier and A. A. James,  bioRxiv,  2020.08.02.233056. 2020.
We developed the first recoded gene-drive rescue system for population modification in 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 ...
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Detecting the population dynamics of an autosomal sex ratio distorter transgene in malaria vector mosquitoes

P. Pollegioni, A. R. North, T. Persampieri, A. Bucci, R. L. Minuz, D. A. Groneberg, T. Nolan, P. A. Papathanos, A. Crisanti and R. Muller,  Journal of Applied Ecology,  11. 2020.
A sex-distorting autosomal transgene has been developed recently in G3 mosquitoes, a laboratory strain of the malaria vectorAnopheles gambiaes.l. Following the World Health Organization guidance framework for the testing of GM mosquitoes, we assessed the dynamics of this ...
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The need for new vector control approaches targeting outdoor biting anopheline malaria vector communities

S. Sougoufara, E. C. Ottih and F. Tripet,  Parasites & Vectors,  13:15. 2020.
Since the implementation of Roll Back Malaria, the widespread use of insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying (IRS) is thought to have played a major part in the decrease in mortality and morbidity achieved in malaria-endemic regions. In the past decade, ...
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Mosquitoes engineered to resist the malaria parasite

Anonymous,  Lab+Life Scientist,  2020.
Anopheles mosquitoes that have been genetically engineered with multiple antimalaria molecules, acting at different stages of the malaria life cycle, are strongly resistant to the parasite that causes malaria and are unlikely to lose that resistance quickly.
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New study highlights success of gene drive technology with preventing mosquito-spread diseases

A. Meckler-Pacheco,  The California Aggie,  2020.
For the past 30 years, researchers have studied the usage of gene drive technology to stop the spread of malaria. The idea is to create genetically engineered mosquitoes (GEM) that are either resistant to carrying the malaria parasite or that fail to reproduce, which would result ...
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Hope rises as scientists eliminate malaria mosquitoes

A. Adeyemi,  New Telegraph,  2020.
A team of researchers led by Imperial College London have spread a genetic modification that distorted the sex ratio through a population of caged Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes using ‘gene drive’ technology. According to the results of their study published yesterday in ...
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Malaria mosquitoes eliminated in lab by creating all-male offsprings

Aishwarya,  Inshorts,  2020.
Imperial College London-led team used 'gene drive' technology to spread genetic modification that distorted sex ratio through caged breed of malaria mosquitoes. This caused mosquitoes to produce more male offspring, eventually leading to no female birth. The study suggested such ...
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Researchers use “gene drive” technology to eliminate malaria mosquitoes in lab experiments

J. Ives,  News Medical Life Sciences,  2020.
A team led by Imperial College London spread a genetic modification that distorts the sex ratio through a population of caged Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes using 'gene drive' technology.
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Genetically-manipulated male mosquitoes could eliminate females

B. Coxworth,  New Atlas,  2020.
Several years ago, we heard how scientists were looking at eradicating malaria-carrying mosquitoes by making the females infertile. Now they're going a step further, by eliminating the females altogether.
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Researchers discover way to eliminate malaria carrying mosquitoes

S. Digon,  International Business Times,  2020.
Researchers from the Imperial College London have come up with a genetic modification that will pave the way for the elimination of malaria mosquitoes. Scientists say that the alteration distorts the sex ratio of caged Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes using what they call a ‘gene ...
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Malaria mosquitoes eliminated in lab by creating all male populations

H. Dunning,  Imperial College London,  2020.
A team led by Imperial College London spread a genetic modification that distorts the sex ratio through a population of caged Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes using ‘gene drive’ technology.
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A male-biased sex-distorter gene drive for the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae

A. Simoni, A. M. Hammond, A. K. Beaghton, R. Galizi, C. Taxiarchi, K. Kyrou, D. Meacci, M. Gribble, G. Morselli, A. Burt, T. Nolan and A. Crisanti,  Nature Biotechnology,  2020.
We report a male-biased sex-distorter gene drive (SDGD) in the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae.
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Converting endogenous genes of the malaria mosquito into simple non-autonomous gene drives for population replacement

A. Hoermann, S. Tapanelli, P. Capriotti, E. K. G. Masters, T. Habtewold, G. K. Christophides and N. Windbichler,  bioRxiv,  2020.
Here we explore how minimal genetic modifications of endogenous mosquito genes can convert them directly into non-autonomous gene drives without disrupting their expression.
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Gene editing could fight malaria by causing only male mosquitos to be born

L. Dormehl,  Digital Trends,  2020.
What’s the theoretically easiest way to ensure that a population of mosquitos is not able to sustain itself through breeding? Make sure that there aren’t enough females, of course. That’s the exploratory approach being pioneered by researchers at the U.K.’s Imperial ...
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Abundance of conserved CRISPR-Cas9 target sites within the highly polymorphic genomes of Anopheles and Aedes mosquitoes

H. Schmidt, T. C. Collier, M. J. Hanemaaijer, P. D. Houston, Y. Lee and G. C. Lanzaro,  Nature Communications,  11. 2020.
ere we report the results of a survey of 1280 genomes of the mosquitoes Anopheles gambiae, An. coluzzii, and Aedes aegypti in which we determine that similar to 90% of all protein-encoding CGD target genes in natural populations include at least one target site with no DRAs at a ...
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Transcontinental dispersal of Anopheles gambiae occurred from West African origin via serial founder events

H. Schmidt, Y. Lee, T. C. Collier, M. J. Hanemaaijer, O. D. Kirstein, A. Ouledi, M. Muleba, D. E. Norris, M. Slatkin, A. J. Cornel and G. C. Lanzaro,  Communications Biology,  2. 2019.
Here we present population genomic analyses of 111 specimens sampled from west to east Africa, including the first whole genome sequences from oceanic islands, the Comoros.
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A synthetic male-specific sterilization system using the mammalian pro-apoptotic factor in a malaria vector mosquito

D. S. Yamamoto, M. Sumitani, K. Kasashima, H. Sezutsu, H. Matsuoka and H. Kato,  Scientific Reports,  9:11. 2019.
We produced a transgenic mosquito line that expresses mouse Bax under the control of this testis-specific promoter. Transgenic mosquito males exhibited aberrant testes without functional sperm and complete sterility, whereas transgenic females maintained normal fecundity. Despite ...
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Global report on insecticide resistance in malaria vectors: 2010-2016.

WHO,  World Health Organization,  2018.
Insecticide-based vector control is a cornerstone in the fight against malaria. Selection of vector-control interventions should take into account the resistance status of local mosquito vectors along with other factors associated with intervention deployment and use such as ...
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CRISPR/Cas9 -mediated gene knockout of Anopheles gambiae FREP1 suppresses malaria parasite infection

Dong, YS, Maria L.; Marois, Eric; Dimopoulos, George,  PLOS Pathogens,  14:e1006898. 2018.
The causative agent of malaria, Plasmodium, has to complete a complex infection cycle in the Anopheles gambiae mosquito vector in order to reach the salivary gland from where it can be transmitted to a human host. The parasite’s development in the mosquito relies on numerous ...
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Current vector control challenges in the fight against malaria

G. Benelli and J. C. Beier,  Acta Tropica,  174:91-96. 2017.
The majority of National Malaria Control Programs in Africa still rely on indoor residual spraying (IRS) and long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs). These methods reduce malaria incidence but generally have little impact on malaria prevalence. In addition to outdoor transmission, ...
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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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Modelling the spatial spread of a homing endonuclease gene in a mosquito population

North, AB, A.; Godfray, H. C. J.,  Journal of Applied Ecology,  50:1216-1225. 2013.
Homing endonuclease genes (HEGs) exist naturally in many single-celled organisms and can show extremely strong genetic drive allowing them to spread through populations into which they are introduced. They are being investigated as tools to manipulate the populations of important ...
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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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First Anopheles arabiensis germline transformation: Toward the development of a transgenic genetic sexing strain

H. C. Bossin, J. Thailayil, F. Catteruccia, J. P. Benton, A. Crisanti, M. Q. Benedict, B. G. Knols and A. S. Robinson,  American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,  75:66-66. 2006.
The ability to genetically engineer mosquitoes is likely to have major implications for the development and implementation of genetic control systems against mosquito disease vectors such as the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). In particular, genetically transformed mosquito ...
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Keywords: Anopheles

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 ...
Keywords: , , , ,

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 ...
Keywords: , , , ,

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. ...
Keywords: , , , ,

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 ...
Keywords: , , , ,

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 ...
Keywords: , , , ,

“Maskandi experience”: exploring the use of a cultural song for community engagement in preparation for a pilot Sterile Insect Technique release programme for malaria vector control in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa 2019

P. N. Manana, S. Jewett, J. Zikhali, D. Dlamini, N. Mabaso, Z. Mlambo, R. Ngobese and G. Munhenga,  Malaria Journal,  20:11. 2021.
Background An assessment of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) as a complementary malaria vector control tool, is at an advanced stage in South Africa. The technique involves the release of laboratory-reared sterilized male mosquitoes of the major malaria vector Anopheles ...
Keywords: , , , ,

Estimates of the population size and dispersal range of Anopheles arabiensis in Northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: implications for a planned pilot programme to release sterile male mosquitoes

M. L. Kaiser, O. R. Wood, D. Damiens, B. D. Brooke, L. L. Koekemoer and G. Munhenga,  Parasites and Vectors,  14:18. 2021.
The Anopheles gambiae complex and An. funestus group species made up the majority of wild collections along with other anophelines. The An. arabiensis population size was estimated to be between 550 and 9500 males per hectare depending on time of year, weather conditions and ...
Keywords: , , , ,

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. ...
Keywords: , , , ,

Curbing Malaria’s Spread by Genetic Engineering

Anonymous,  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News,  2021.
There is an urgent need to find new ways to combat the growing mosquito resistance to pesticides and malaria parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs. Gene drives are being tested as a new approach. In a new study, researchers from the Imperial College London reported that their ...
Keywords: , , , ,

New genetic modification could cut malaria spread

Staff Writers,  MALAYSIA NOW,  2021.
Altering a mosquito’s gut genes to make them spread antimalarial genes to the next generation of their species shows promise as an approach to curb malaria, suggests a preliminary study published in eLife on Tuesday. The study is the latest in a series of steps being taken ...
Keywords: , , , ,

Researchers Using Mutant Mosquitoes To End Malaria, Which Kills 4 Lakh Per Year

M. Mohanti,  India Times,  2021.
Every year, more than 22 crore people get infected with malaria and more than 4 lakh die because of it. In fact, in 2019, nearly half of the world's population was at risk of malaria. According to WHO, infants or children aged under 5 years are the most vulnerable group, ...
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Converting endogenous genes of the malaria mosquito into simple non-autonomous gene drives for population replacement

A. Hoermann, S. Tapanelli, P. Capriotti, G. Del Corsano, E. K. G. Masters, T. Habtewold, G. K. Christophides and N. Windbichler,  eLife,  10. 2021.
Gene drives for mosquito population replacement are promising tools for malaria control. However, there is currently no clear pathway for safely testing such tools in endemic countries. The lack of well-characterized promoters for infection-relevant tissues and regulatory hurdles ...
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Evidence for natural hybridization and novel Wolbachia strain superinfections in the Anopheles gambiae complex from Guinea

C. L. Jeffries, C. Cansado-Utrilla, A. H. Beavogui, C. Stica, E. K. Lama, M. Kristan, S. R. Irish and T. Walker,  Royal Society Open Science,  8:18. 2021.
Wolbachia, a widespread bacterium which can influence mosquito-borne pathogen transmission, has recently been detected within Anopheles (An.) species that are malaria vectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although studies have reported Wolbachia strains in the An. gambiae complex, ...
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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,  bioRxiv,  2021.03.31.437891. 2021.
We describe herein an optimised transformation system based on the germline delivery of CRISPR components that allows efficient cleavage of a previously validated genomic site and preferential repair of these cut sites via homology-directed repair (HDR), which allows introduction ...
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Systematic identification of plausible pathways to potential harm via problem formulation for investigational releases of a population suppression gene drive to control the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae in West Africa

J. B. Connolly, J. D. Mumford, S. Fuchs, G. Turner, C. Beech, A. R. North and A. Burt,  Malaria Journal,  20:170. 2021.
Population suppression gene drive has been proposed as a strategy for malaria vector control. A CRISPR-Cas9-based transgene homing at the doublesex locus (dsxFCRISPRh) has recently been shown to increase rapidly in frequency in, and suppress, caged laboratory populations of the ...
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Double drives and private alleles for localised population genetic control

K. Willis and A. Burt,  PLOS Genetics,  17. 2021.
ynthetic gene drive systems that are able to spread though populations because they are inherited at a greater-than-Mendelian rate have the potential to form the basis for new, highly efficient pest control measures. The most efficient such strategies use natural gene flow to ...
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Detailed genome map of malaria vector

The Hindu,  Aspirant World,  2021.
In order to engineer advanced forms of defence against malaria transmission, including targeted CRISPR and gene drive–based strategies, scientists require intricate knowledge of the genomes of vector mosquitoes. CRISPR technology is a gene-editing tool which allows ...
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Researchers Unveil Detailed Genome of Invasive Malaria Mosquito

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego News Center,  2021.
Mosquito-transmitted malaria remains the number one worldwide killer among vector-borne diseases, claiming more than 400,000 human lives in 2019. In order to engineer advanced forms of defense against malaria transmission, including targeted CRISPR and gene drive-based ...
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Hidden genomic features of an invasive malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, revealed by a chromosome-level genome assembly

M. Chakraborty, A. Ramaiah, A. Adolfi, P. Halas, B. Kaduskar, L. T. Ngo, S. Jayaprasad, K. Paul, S. Whadgar, S. Srinivasan, S. Subramani, E. Bier, A. A. James and J. J. Emerson,  BMC Biology,  19:28. 2021.
The mosquito Anopheles stephensi is a vector of urban malaria in Asia that recently invaded Africa. Studying the genetic basis of vectorial capacity and engineering genetic interventions are both impeded by limitations of a vector’s genome assembly. The existing assemblies of ...
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Experts oppose plan to breed mosquitoes

T. Abet,  Daily Monitor,  2021.
Environmentalists have opposed the plan to breed and release genetically modified mosquitoes in the country to curb malaria prevalence. They say the act presents substantial human and environmental health risks. Their objection follows last week’s announcement by scientists ...
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Genetically modified mosquitoes to curb malaria

T. Abet,  Daily Monitor,  2021.
Scientists at Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) have started breeding mosquitoes with the aim of modifying their genetic materials and releasing them to the environment to curb malaria transmission. The genetically modified mosquitoes, according to the scientists, do not ...
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New genetically modified mosquitoes to help fight malaria

D. Zirimala,  Capital Radio FM,  2021.