Gene Drive Supplement

Researching Gene Drive Mosquitoes to Help Malaria Control

June 29, 2022

According to the World Health Organization, 241 million cases of malaria and 627,000 deaths from the disease were recorded globally in 2020. Malaria is estimated to cost the African continent US$12 billion in reduced economic output every year.

Gene drive approaches to malaria control are currently being investigated as an additional tool to fight the disease alongside existing interventions. One of the organizations working on this research is Target Malaria, which has developed gene drives that stop mosquitoes from producing female offspring.

In a piece published by BBC news, Dr. Jonathan Kayondo, principal investigator for Target Malaria in Uganda, stresses that in the development of engineered gene drives safety remains the core concern. He also highlights that “despite decades of efforts, a child still dies of malaria every minute”.

According to Kayondo, "innovative approaches are urgently needed as both the malaria mosquito and the malaria parasite are becoming increasingly resistant to current methods. Gene drive approaches could be part of an integrated approach to combat malaria, complementing existing interventions."

For more details, read this article.

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