Keywords: population modification

Tolerance-conferring defensive symbionts and the evolution of parasite virulence

C. A. Smith and B. Ashby,  bioRxiv,  2022.
Defensive symbionts in the host microbiome can confer protection from infection or reduce the harms of being infected by a parasite. Defensive symbionts are therefore promising agents of biocontrol that could be used to control or ameliorate the impact of infectious diseases. ...
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Wolbachia Biology, Mechanisms and Applications 2022

David O'Brochta,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2022.
Intracellular and extracellular symbiotic/commensal bacteria have enormous potential when manipulated and deployed appropriately to serve as agents of control of insects and the pathogens they transmit. Wolbachia, an intracellular bacteria, is a well studied system and one that ...
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Wolbachia wAlbB inhibit dengue and Zika infection in the mosquito Aedes aegypti with an Australian background

L. E. Hugo, G. Rašić, A. J. Maynard, L. Ambrose, C. Liddington, C. J. E. Thomas, N. S. Nath, M. Graham, C. Winterford, B. M. C. R. Wimalasiri-Yapa, Z. Xi, N. W. Beebe and G. J. Devine,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  16:e0010786. 2022.
Biological control of mosquito vectors using the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia is an emerging strategy for the management of human arboviral diseases. We recently described the development of a strain of Aedes aegypti infected with the Wolbachia strain wAlbB (referred to as ...
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Risk Assessment on the Release of Wolbachia-Infected Aedes aegypti in Yogyakarta, Indonesia

D. Buchori, A. Mawan, I. Nurhayati, A. Aryati, H. Kusnanto and U. K. Hadi,  Insects,  13. 2022.
Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti is the latest technology that was developed to eliminate dengue fever. The Ministry of Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia (Kemenristekdikti) established an expert group to identify future potential risks that may occur over a ...
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Wolbachia-Virus interactions and arbovirus control through population replacement in mosquitoes

T. H. Ant, M. V. Mancini, C. J. McNamara, S. M. Rainey and S. P. Sinkins,  Pathogens and Global Health,  2022.
Following transfer into the primary arbovirus vector Aedes aegypti, several strains of the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia have been shown to inhibit the transmission of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses, important human pathogens that cause significant morbidity and ...
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Research: Scientists Modify Mosquitoes That Can’t Spread Malaria

N. Kharbanda,  Onlymyhealth,  2022.
According to a research, scientists have found a way to genetically engineer mosquitoes with the capability to slow down the multiplication of malaria-causing parasites in their gut. This is an advance study, that can help in preventing the infecting of the disease in humans. The ...
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Explained: How Scientists Are Genetically modifying Mosquitoes To Reduce Malaria

Anonymous,  Outlook,  2022.
he Delhi High Court on Friday asked the state government to inform it within two weeks of the proposal of increasing the fine amount in mosquito breeding cases. The court last year took suo moto cognizance of the issue of large-scale mosquito breeding in the city, resulting in ...
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Explained: How scientists engineered mosquitoes that cannot spread malaria

FP Explainers,  Firstpost,  2022.
The world of science is reaching new heights. Scientists have now developed mosquitoes that will bite you but not cause malaria. The study was conducted by a team of researchers called Transmission: Zero at the Imperial College of London. The results of the research were ...
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Fitness costs of Wolbachia shift in locally-adapted Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

P. A. Ross and A. A. Hoffmann,  Environmental Microbiology,  2022.
Aedes aegypti mosquito eggs can remain quiescent for many months before hatching, allowing populations to persist through unfavorable conditions. Aedes aegypti infected with the Wolbachia strain wMel have been released in tropical and subtropical regions for dengue control. wMel ...
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Malaria-free mosquito engineered by scientists

GNA,  MODERN GHANA,  2022.
Scientists have genetically modified the main malaria-carrying species of mosquito in sub-SaharanAfrica to slow the growth of malaria-causing parasites in their gut, preventing transmission of thedisease to humans. When the Anopheles gambiae takes a blood meal, it produces two ...
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Malaria-free mosquito engineered by scientists

D. Davies,  GHANA NEWS AGENCY,  2022.
Scientists have genetically modified the main malaria-carrying species of mosquito in sub-Saharan Africa to slow the growth of malaria-causing parasites in their gut, preventing transmission of the disease to humans. When the Anopheles gambiae takes a blood meal, it produces two ...
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Scientists stunt parasite growth to tackle malaria

RSS24.news,  RSS24.NEWS,  2022.
Loss of life, loss of livlihoods and homelessness have already afflicted these flood marooned refugees in Pakistan. Now these living conditions means they also face sickness and and without protection malaria is a major threat. Health agencies try to protect people against ...
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Scientists are manipulating the DNA of mosquitoes to fight the spread of malaria

R. Min,  EURONEWS.NEXT,  2022.
Scientists say they have managed to genetically modify mosquitoes so that they are unable to spread malaria, a disease that kills well over half a million people each year. The changes cause mosquitoes to live shorter lives, while the parasites inside them, which cause the fatal ...
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Externalities modulate the effectiveness of the Wolbachia release programme

E. E. Ooi and A. Wilder-Smith,  The Lancet Infectious Diseases,  2022.
Despite the remarkable outcome in Yogyakarta, the wMel approach also has some challenges. In particular, the extent to which ecological, weather, and other external factors influence the dissemination and establishment of wMel in complex urban environments remains unclear. ...
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Estimating the effect of the wMel release programme on the incidence of dengue and chikungunya in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: a spatiotemporal modelling study

G. Ribeiro dos Santos, B. Durovni, V. Saraceni, T. I. Souza Riback, S. B. Pinto, K. L. Anders, et al.,  The Lancet Infectious Diseases,  2022.
Summary Background Introgression of genetic material from species of the insect bacteria Wolbachia into populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes has been shown in randomised and non-randomised trials to reduce the incidence of dengue; however, evidence for the real-world ...
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Scientists engineer mosquitoes that cannot spread malaria

J. Dalton,  Independen,  2022.
Scientists have engineered mosquitoes that cannot give humans malaria, saying their work could potentially eliminate the disease. Researchers at Imperial College London genetically modified the insects so that the growth of malaria-causing parasites in their guts was slowed.
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Scientists Engineer Mosquitoes That Can’t Transmit Malaria

C. Murez,  US News,  2022.
The fight against malaria could hinge on genetically engineered mosquitoes that have something called "gene drive."Researchers from the Transmission: Zero team at Imperial College London report that they have engineered mosquitoes that slow the growth in their gut of the ...
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Mosquitoes that can’t spread malaria engineered by scientists

,  2022.
Scientists have engineered mosquitoes that slow the growth of malaria-causing parasites in their gut, preventing transmission of the disease to humans The genetic modification causes mosquitoes to produce compounds in their guts that stunt the growth of parasites, meaning they ...
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Scientists engineer mosquitoes that can’t spread malaria

S. Varshney,  Gamacher Central,  2022.
Scientists have engineered mosquitoes that slow the growth of malaria-causing parasites in their gut, preventing transmission of the disease to humans. The genetic modification causes mosquitoes to produce compounds in their guts that stunt the growth of parasites, meaning they ...
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Mosquitoes with honeybee DNA could tame malaria

R. Blakely,  The Times,  2022.
A new form of genetically engineered mosquito could reduce the spread of malaria in Africa, a study suggests. The addition of DNA from a honeybee and genetic material from the African clawed frog prompt the new mosquitoes to produce compounds to stunt the growth of the parasite ...
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Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Prevented the Growth of Malaria-causing Parasites in Their Gut

P. Mozter,  Nature World News 2022,  2022.
Abstract: Scientists have created mosquitoes that inhibit the development of malaria-causing parasites in their stomachs, therefore decreasing disease transmission to people. The genetic change allows mosquitoes to create substances in their intestines that inhibit parasite ...
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Wolbachia strain wAlbB remains stable in Aedes aegypti over 15 years but exhibits genetic background-dependent variation in virus blocking

X. Liang, C. H. Tan, Q. Sun, M. Zhang, P. J. Wong, M. I. Li, et al.,  PNAS Nexus,  2022.
The ability of the maternally transmitted endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia to induce cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI) and virus blocking makes it a promising weapon for combatting mosquito-borne diseases through either suppression or replacement of wild-type populations. Recent ...
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Mosquitoes are being genetically modified so they can’t spread malaria

M. Le Page,  New Scientist,  2022.
Gene editing mosquitoes so they die before malaria parasites can develop inside them could stop the spread of the deadly parasite entirely,
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Genetically-modified mosquitoes could ‘help wipe out malaria’

S. Knapton,  The Telegraph,  2022.
Mosquitoes that cannot spread malaria have been genetically engineered by British scientists, in a breakthrough that could help eliminate the disease. ...
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Gene drive mosquitoes can aid malaria elimination by retarding Plasmodium sporogonic development

Hoermann, Astrid, Habtewold, Tibebu, Selvaraj, Prashanth, Del Corsano, Giuseppe, Capriotti, Paolo, Inghilterra, Maria Grazia, Kebede, Temesgen M., Christophides, George K. and Windbichler, Nikolai,  Science Advances,  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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Scientists engineer mosquitoes that can’t spread malaria

Imperial College London,  Phys Org,  2022.
Scientists have engineered mosquitoes that slow the growth of malaria-causing parasites in their gut, preventing transmission of the disease to humans. The genetic modification causes mosquitoes to produce compounds in their guts that stunt the growth of parasites, meaning they ...
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Extreme GM “extinction technology” of gene drives presented as “natural”

GM Watch,  GM Watch,  2022.
Now similar Orwellian moves are happening in the area of gene drives. A gene drive is a genetic engineering technology that forces a particular genetic modification through a population by changing the natural rules of inheritance, usually to ensure that it is increasingly – ...
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An optimal control problem for dengue transmission model with Wolbachia and vaccination

J. Zhang, L. L. Liu, Y. Z. Li and Y. Wang,  Communications In Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation,  116. 2022.
The release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes into the wild mosquitoes population is an excellent biological control strategy which can be effective against mosquito-borne infections. In this work, we propose a dengue transmission model that incorporates releasing Wolbachia into ...
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Changing mosquito genes, spreading bacteria: Science sees success vs dengue

C. E. Baclig,  INQUIRER.NET,  2022.
Wolbachia, according to WMP, are extremely common bacteria that occur naturally in 50 percent of insect species, including mosquitoes, fruit flies, moths, dragonflies, and butterflies. Aedes aegypti or dengue-carrying mosquitoes, however, do not normally carry Wolbachia. Studies ...
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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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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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The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District & Oxitec Announce Launch of Next Phase of Ground-Breaking Project

Oxitec,  Oxitec,  2022.
In a continuation of the FKMCD-Oxitec Mosquito Project, Oxitec and FKMCD announced that a new phase of the project (“Pilot D”) will be initiated on or after July 7th, 2022. This phase of the project will examine single-point releases of Oxitec’s male mosquitoes. In March ...
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Natural and Engineered Sex Ratio Distortion in Insects

A. Compton and Z. Tu,  Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution,  10. 2022.
Insects have evolved highly diverse genetic sex-determination mechanisms and a relatively balanced male to female sex ratio is generally expected. However, selection may shift the optimal sex ratio while meiotic drive and endosymbiont manipulation can result in sex ratio ...
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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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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 interacts with the microbiome to shape fitness-associated traits during seasonal adaptation in Drosophila melanogaster

L. P. Henry, M. Fernandez, S. Wolf and J. Ayroles,  bioRxiv,  2022.05.31.494239. 2022.
The microbiome contributes to many different host traits, but its role in host adaptation remains enigmatic. The fitness benefits of the microbiome often depend on ecological conditions, but fluctuations in both the microbiome and environment modulate these fitness benefits. ...
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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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Local adaptation of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to Wolbachia-induced fitness costs

P. A. Ross and A. A. Hoffmann,  bioRxiv,  2022.05.06.490959. 2022.
Aedes aegypti mosquito eggs can remain quiescent for many months before hatching, allowing populations to persist through unfavorable conditions. Aedes aegypti infected with the Wolbachia strain wMel have been released in tropical and subtropical regions for dengue control. wMel ...
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MIT Researchers Propose Using Genetically Modified Mice to Fight Lyme Disease

K. Perrotte,  Field and Stream,  2022.
In Massachusetts, researchers at MIT are proposing an experiment that would involve releasing genetically engineered mice into the native mouse population to ultimately reduce the prevalence of Lyme disease.Nantucket Island is the area proposed for the study, which has been years ...
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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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Aedes aegypti abundance and insecticide resistance profiles in the applying Wolbachia to eliminate dengue trial

W. Tantowijoyo, S. K. Tanamas, I. Nurhayati, S. Setyawan, N. Budiwati, I. Fitriana, I. Ernesia, D. S. Wardana, E. Supriyati, E. Arguni, Y. Meitika, E. Prabowo, B. Andari, B. R. Green, L. Hodgson, E. Rancès, P. A. Ryan, S. L. O'Neill, K. L. Anders, M. R. A,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  16:e0010284. 2022.
The Applying Wolbachia to Eliminate Dengue (AWED) trial was a parallel cluster randomised trial that demonstrated Wolbachia (wMel) introgression into Ae. aegypti populations reduced dengue incidence. In this predefined substudy, we compared between treatment arms, the relative ...
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A metapopulation approach to identify targets for Wolbachia-based dengue control

A. Reyna-Lara, D. Soriano-Paños, J. H. Arias-Castro, H. J. Martínez and J. Gómez-Gardeñes,  Chaos,  32:041105. 2022.
Over the last decade, the release of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti into the natural habitat of this mosquito species has become the most sustainable and long-lasting technique to prevent and control vector-borne diseases, such as dengue, zika, or chikungunya. However, the ...
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Environmental factors influence the local establishment of Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in two small communities in central Vietnam [version 2]

N. T. Hien, D. D. Anh, N. H. Le, N. T. Yen, T. V. Phong, V. S. Nam, T. N. Duong, N. B. Nguyen, D. T. T. Huong, L. Q. Hung, C. N. T. Trinh, N. V. Hoang, V. Q. Mai, L. T. Nghia, N. T. Dong, L. H. Tho, S. Kutcher, T. P. Hurst, J. L. Montgomery, M. Woolfit, E,  Gates Open Research,  5:147. 2022.
Background: The wMel strain of Wolbachia has been successfully introduced into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and subsequently shown to reduce transmission of dengue and other pathogens, under both laboratory and field conditions. Here we describe the entomological outcomes of wMel ...
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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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Special mosquitos to combat dengue fever in Binh Duong

L. Phuong,  VN Express,  2022.
Capsules containing mosquito eggs resistant to dengue fever viruses were released in southern Binh Duong's Thu Dau Mot Town on Thursday to help control the disease. The Wolbachia Project in southern Vietnam, conducted by the World Mosquito Program and collaborators, seeks to ...
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Symbionts and gene drive: two strategies to combat vector-borne disease

G.-H. Wang, J. Du, C. Y. Chu, M. Madhav, G. L. Hughes and J. Champer,  Trends in Genetics,  2022.
Mosquitoes bring global health problems by transmitting parasites and viruses such as malaria and dengue. Unfortunately, current insecticide-based control strategies are only moderately effective because of high cost and resistance. Thus, scalable, sustainable, and cost-effective ...
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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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Differential viral RNA methylation contributes to pathogen blocking in Wolbachia-colonized arthropods

T. Bhattacharya, L. Yan, J. M. Crawford, H. Zaher, I. L. G. Newton and R. W. Hardy,  PLoS Pathogens,  18:e1010393. 2022.
Arthropod endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis is part of a global biocontrol strategy to reduce the replication of mosquito-borne RNA viruses such as alphaviruses. We previously demonstrated the importance of a host cytosine methyltransferase, DNMT2, in Drosophila and viral RNA as a ...
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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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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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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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Lab-scale characterization and semi-field trials of Wolbachia Strain wAlbB in a Taiwan Wolbachia introgressed Ae. aegypti strain

W. L. Liu, H. Y. Yu, Y. X. Chen, B. Y. Chen, S. N. Leaw, C. H. Lin, M. P. Su, L. S. Tsai, Y. Chen, S. H. Shiao, Z. Y. Xi, A. C. C. Jang and C. H. Chen,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  16:24. 2022.
Author summaryPrior to open field release, new genetic approaches that interfere with mosquito abilities and reduce mosquito population density require progressive evaluation both in the laboratory and contained field trials. Trials in contained outdoor systems are thus an ...
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Wolbachia: Biological Control Strategy Against Arboviral Diseases

I. Mohanty, A. Rath and R. K. Hazra,  Genetically Modified and other Innovative Vector Control Technologies,  2021.
Arboviral diseases like dengue, chikungunya, and Zika are among the major causes of mortality and morbidity in human population. The limited control methods together with lack of antiviral therapies and effective vaccines have paved way for new approaches. One such approach to ...
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Wolbachia Endosymbiont and Mosquito Vectors, with Emphasis on Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination

I. P. Sunish,  Genetically Modified and other Innovative Vector Control Technologies,  2021.
Wolbachia are maternally inherited intracellular bacteria, known to alter early development and mitotic processes in their hosts. They are frequently observed as a reproductive parasite, capable of inducing feminization, parthenogenesis, male killing, or cytoplasmic ...
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Genomic insertion locus and Cas9 expression in the germline affect CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drive performance in the yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti

W. R. Reid, J. Lin, A. E. Williams, R. Juncu, K. E. Olson and A. W. E. Franz,  bioRxiv,  2021.12.08.471839. 2021.
The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti is a major vector of arthropod-borne viruses, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. A novel approach to mitigate arboviral infections is to generate mosquitoes refractory to infection by overexpressing antiviral effector molecules. Such ...
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Gene drive that results in addiction to a temperature-sensitive version of an essential gene triggers population collapse in Drosophila

G. Oberhofer, T. Ivy and B. A. Hay,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118:e2107413118. 2021.
One strategy for population suppression seeks to use gene drive to spread genes that confer conditional lethality or sterility, providing a way of combining population modification with suppression. Stimuli of potential interest could be introduced by humans, such as an otherwise ...
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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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High Temperature Cycles Result in Maternal Transmission and Dengue Infection Differences Between Wolbachia Strains in Aedes aegypti

M. V. Mancini, T. H. Ant, C. S. Herd, J. Martinez, S. M. Murdochy, D. D. Gingell, E. Mararo, P. C. D. Johnson and S. P. Sinkins,  mBio,  e0025021. 2021.
Environmental factors play a crucial role in the population dynamics of arthropod endosymbionts, and therefore in the deployment of Wolbachia symbionts for the control of dengue arboviruses. The potential of Wolbachia to invade, persist, and block virus transmission depends in ...
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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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Modeling the efficacy of CRISPR gene drive for schistosomiasis control

R. E. Grewelle, J. Perez-Saez, J. Tycko, E. K. O. Namigai, C. G. Rickards and G. A. De Leo,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.29.466423. 2021.
CRISPR gene drives could revolutionize the control of infectious diseases by accelerating the spread of engineered traits that limit parasite transmission in wild populations. While much effort has been spent developing gene drives in mosquitoes, gene drive technology in molluscs ...
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A decade of stability for wMel Wolbachia in natural Aedes aegypti populations

P. A. Ross, K. L. Robinson, Q. Yang, A. G. Callahan, T. L. Schmidt, J. K. Axford, M. P. Coquilleau, K. M. Staunton, M. Townsend, S. A. Ritchie, M.-J. Lau, X. Gu and A. A. Hoffmann,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.27.466190. 2021.
Mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia endosymbionts are being released in many countries for arbovirus control. The wMel strain of Wolbachia blocks Aedes-borne virus transmission and can spread throughout mosquito populations by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility. Aedes aegypti ...
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Novel Symbiotic Genome-Scale Model Reveals Wolbachia’s Arboviral Pathogen Blocking Mechanism in Aedes aegypti

N. E. Jiménez, Z. P. Gerdtzen, Á. Olivera-Nappa, J. C. Salgado and C. Conca,  mBio,  e0156321. 2021.
Arboviral diseases such as Zika and Dengue have been on the rise mainly due to climate change, and the development of new treatments and strategies to limit their spreading is needed. The use of Wolbachia as an approach for disease control has motivated new research related 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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Wolbachia-Conferred Antiviral Protection Is Determined by Developmental Temperature

E. Chrostek, N. Martins, M. S. Marialva and L. Teixeira,  mBio,  e0292320. 2021.
Overall, we show that Wolbachia-conferred antiviral protection is temperature dependent, being present or absent depending on the environmental conditions. This interaction likely impacts Wolbachia-host interactions in nature and, as a result, frequencies of host and symbionts in ...
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Assessment of fitness and vector competence of a New Caledonia wMel Aedes aegypti strain before field-release

N. Pocquet, O. O’Connor, H. A. Flores, J. Tutagata, M. Pol, D. J. Hooker, C. Inizan, S. Russet, J. M. Duyvestyn, E. C. Pacidônio, D. Girault, D. da Silva Gonçalves, M. Minier, F. Touzain, E. Chalus, K. Lucien, F. Cheilan, T. Derycke, S. Laumond, C. P. Sim,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  15:e0009752. 2021.
Dengue represents a risk for almost half of the world’s population, especially throughout the tropics. In New Caledonia, dengue outbreaks have become more frequent in the past decade along with the recent circulation of chikungunya and Zika viruses. The opportunity to use the ...
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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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Identifying Sites for Testing Modified Mosquitoes as a Strategy to Eradicate Malaria

A. Fell,  UC Davis News,  2021.
In a newly published article in the journal Evolutionary Applications Professor Greg Lanzaro and his team at the Vector Genetics Laboratory, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, set forth a framework for the selection of field sites in Africa best suited for testing ...
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Gene drives gaining speed

E. Bier,  Nature Reviews Genetics,  2021.
Gene drives are selfish genetic elements that are transmitted to progeny at super-Mendelian (>50%) frequencies. Recently developed CRISPR–Cas9-based gene-drive systems are highly efficient in laboratory settings, offering the potential to reduce the prevalence of vector-borne ...
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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 and S. Palomares,  Evolutionary Applications,  15. 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, Plasmodium falciparum, coupled with a ...
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Combating mosquito-borne diseases using genetic control technologies

G.-H. Wang, S. Gamez, R. R. Raban, J. M. Marshall, L. Alphey, M. Li, J. L. Rasgon and O. S. Akbari,  Nature Communications,  12:4388. 2021.
Mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue and malaria, pose significant global health burdens. Unfortunately, current control methods based on insecticides and environmental maintenance have fallen short of eliminating the disease burden. Scalable, deployable, genetic-based ...
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Targeting Conserved Sequences Circumvents the Evolution of Resistance in a Viral Gene Drive against Human Cytomegalovirus

M. Walter, R. Perrone, E. Verdin and F. Goodrum,  Journal of Virology,  95:e00802-21. 2021.
Gene drives are genetic systems designed to efficiently spread a modification through a population. They have been designed almost exclusively in eukaryotic species, especially in insects. We recently developed a CRISPR-based gene drive system in herpesviruses that relies on ...
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Using gene drives to control malaria

A. Fell,  Daily News,  2021.
A group of UC scientists led by Greg Lanzaro, professor of pathology, microbiology and immunology in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, recently completed an analysis of a strategy aimed at eliminating malaria from Africa using genetically engineered mosquitoes. ...
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Population modification strategies for malaria vector control are uniquely resilient to observed levels of gene drive resistance alleles

G. C. Lanzaro, H. M. Sánchez C, T. C. Collier, J. M. Marshall and A. A. James,  BioEssays,  2021.
Cas9/guide RNA (gRNA)-based gene drive systems are expected to play a transformative role in malaria elimination efforts., whether through population modification, in which the drive system contains parasite-refractory genes, or population suppression, in which the drive system ...
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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.