Gene Drive Supplement

Scientist Call for Support for Gene Drive Research to Combat Malaria

December 1, 2022

An integrated approach and commitment of stakeholders are necessary to eliminate malaria in Ghana and the rest of Africa, according to Dr. Fred Aboagye-Antwi, the In-Country Principal Investigator for the Target Malaria team in Ghana and a Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana.

About 70 percent of malaria cases in 11 countries, 10 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa, including Ghana. “No single tool is the magic wand to end malaria transmission in Ghana and, by extension, Africa. We must embrace other tools—we need an integrated approach, including gene drive to eliminate malaria. If we relax on our efforts, malaria can get out of hand. We need to bring all stakeholders on deck,” argues Dr. Aboagye-Antwi. He also stresses that malaria stakeholders include everyone “since we are all affected by malaria in one way or the other.”

African researchers are working on genetic solutions that can be used to combat malaria transmissions. Dr. Aboagye-Antwi suggests that technologies such as gene drive could complement insecticide nets and sprays. There are two broad approaches to which the gene drive technology could be applied to fight malaria carrying mosquitoes — suppression, affecting the fertility of mosquitoes (either with a male bias or female sterility), and replacement, making mosquitoes resistant to the malaria parasite.

Read more in Graphic Online.

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