Aren’t mosquito-borne diseases like malaria and dengue transmitted by many different mosquito species, and wouldn’t one have to release genetically modified versions of all of them?

Category: Vector Borne Disease

Many different species of mosquito have been reported to transmit malaria worldwide, but they are all not equally good as vectors, resulting in some being much more impactful to control than others. For example, one of the reasons why Anopheles gambiae s.s. is such a dangerous vector of human malaria in Africa is because of its almost exclusive preference for biting humans whereas other vectors tend to also bite non-human animals in order to obtain the blood needed for their reproduction. Other members of the Anopheles gambiae family (sibling species) also transmit malaria, and it should be relatively straightforward to adapt the same gene drive approaches to them as well. Control of this powerful family of vectors in Africa is expected to have a large impact on malaria transmission. Similar technology could be applied to other malaria vectors.

Dengue and several other important arboviral diseases are primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, so targeting just these mosquitoes could dramatically reduce disease transmission.

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