Gene Drive Supplement

Paper Details Potential of Gene Drives in Malaria Control

February 23, 2022

Malaria is a disease spread by mosquitoes and typically affects tropical countries. In 2020 alone, malaria killed 627,000 people worldwide. Existing interventions have been insufficient to stop or eradicate malaria. Gene drives is one of the many avenues being investigated to help eliminate the disease.

In a recent study published in the journal Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment, researchers explore how gene drive could potentially help to achieve a malaria-free world by controlling or eliminating mosquito populations through population replacement or suppression. Gene drives not only allow the alteration of an organism's gene but also make it possible to insert in the genome the CRISPR copy-paste system, which includes the gRNA and Cas protein. This allows the gene alteration to self-replicate in subsequent generations.

The authors highlight that before eliminating any mosquito species, it is necessary to understand the potential impact of such action. Therefore, the study also looks at the role of mosquitoes in the environment, the methods of controlling mosquitoes and malaria, and necessary considerations when using gene drives inter alia.

For more details, read the open-access paper in Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment.

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