Genetically modified mosquitoes that cannot transmit malaria are one hope for battling the disease that still kills over one million people a year. But that plan faces some serious snags, according to UC Davis researchers who are suggesting an alternative strategy.
Researchers say genetically modifying mosquitos that cant transmit malaria may help suppress the disease. (Debbie Aldridge/UC Davis photo)
Other scientists have proposed controlling malaria by releasing into the wild mosquitoes genetically engineered to resist malaria. If the resistant mosquitoes breed and spread their genes through the population, malaria transmission should be shut down. The malaria parasite depends entirely on female Anopheles mosquitoes to spread from person to person.
That plan faces two problems, say postdoctoral researcher Matthew Hahn and Sergey Nuzhdin, a professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis. First, the malaria resistance genes available are not very effective. Second, theres no way to reliably push the genes through the population.
Andy Fell | UC Davis
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