Mutant mosquitoes ‘resist malaria’

Nov 24, 2015

US scientists say they have bred a genetically modified (GM) mosquito that can resist malaria infection.
If the lab technique works in the field, it could offer a new way of stopping the biting insects from spreading malaria to humans, they say.
The scientists put a new “resistance” gene into the mosquito’s own DNA, using a gene editing method called Crispr.

And when the GM mosquitoes mated – their offspring inherited the same resistance, PNAS journal reports.
In theory, if these mosquitoes bite people, they should not be able to pass on the parasite that causes malaria.

About 3.2bn people – almost half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria.
Bed nets, insecticides and repellents can help stop the insects biting and drugs can be given to anyone who catches the infection, but the disease still kills around 580,000 people a year.

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2 comments on “Mutant mosquitoes ‘resist malaria’

  • Other scientists have been looking at genetically modifying mosquitoes to render them infertile, so that they die out. But some experts fear that eliminating mosquitoes entirely may have unforeseen and unwanted consequences. Replacing disease-carrying mosquitoes with harmless breeds is a potential alternative.

    I wonder how that would be done? I think the life cycle of the males are only up to 1 week. That sounds like a lot of leg work for the exterminators who take on that project. I agree that a harmless breed should be left around for the bats and dragon flies to chow on. Don’t forget about West Nile please. And see if you can alter the spooge they leave behind in my dermis so it doesn’t friggin’ itch!



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  • @OP – US scientists say they have bred a genetically modified (GM) mosquito that can resist malaria infection.

    If this works to spread through the mosquito population, it could greatly reduce malaria – unless it causes a sloppy disregard for the use of nets and other preventative measures as the risk diminishes.



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