Are gene drive-modified mosquitoes intended to cause species extinctions?

Category: Gene Drive Safety

Gene drive mosquitoes are not intended to cause extinction of the mosquito species in which they are being used. Mosquito species extinction is not necessary for gene drive technologies to have the desired public health effect.

Although one type of genetically modified mosquito technology is intended to suppress populations of the targeted mosquito species by reducing its reproductive rate, the goal is to reduce or eliminate disease transmission, not the mosquito. This can be done by reducing the numbers of the target mosquito species to a level too low to maintain the life cycle of the pathogen, but not so low that it causes species extinction.

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