Disease resistance successfully spread from modified to wild mosquitoes

    Disease resistance successfully spread from modified to wild mosquitoes

    mosquito being injected with hemolyph for a malaria research studyResearchers at Johns Hopkins University genetically modified Anopheles mosquitoes, which in nature spread the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium. The team caged wild and GM mosquitoes and monitored them for 10 generations. The Plasmodium-resistance trait dominated after only a few generations, and the GM mosquitoes maintained their resistance to the malaria parasite for 7 years.

    The group showed a mating preference among them. GM males showed a preference for wild females and wild males preferred GM females--these preferences contributed to the spread of the desired protective trait within the mosquito population.

    More research is needed to determine if what they observed in the laboratory also will occur under natural conditions, but nevertheless, the study suggests that mosquitoes can be genetically modified and spread resistance to the malaria-causing parasite. If implemented, this strategy could eventually result in decreased disease transmission to humans. Read more about this study at Science Daily.

    Published on: Nov 09, 2017

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