However, regulatory and social factors, while crucial to the adoption of any new technology, are not the main focus of this review. OXA males were shown to have similar longevity and maximum dispersal to an unmodified comparator Lacroix et al. To our knowledge, each of these trials has been successful in accomplishing its experimental objectives, and in no case have any negative consequences to human health or the environment been identified. One may anticipate that each of the programmes described above will develop further over the coming years, though there will doubtless be numerous technical, legal, and social challenges.
In addition, one may anticipate that some of the many approaches at earlier stages of development will progress towards field trials and use.
Global Health Impacts of Vector-Borne Diseases: Workshop Summary.
In this regard one may particularly look to synthetic biology approaches to engineered refractoriness and gene drive systems—an approach that has been long heralded and where the daunting technical obstacles are slowly being overcome. Current dengue control methods rely on population suppression. Genetics-based population suppression has the same aim, so can reasonably be evaluated on the same terms, looking for mosquito suppression, i. But what about refractory-insect methods, or indeed novel non-genetic methods such as spatial repellents?
One would need to show an ability to reduce dengue—an epidemiological endpoint. However, this is extremely difficult for an area-wide intervention, as dengue is highly variable in time and space. Consequently, a trial to show disease suppression would likely need to have many separate treatment and control sites, each of a significant size and with many inhabitants.
Luke Alphey (United Kingdom)
This is problematic in terms of scale but also in terms of funding—despite the potential, and outstanding early results, funding for genetic control has been extremely low relative to the resources devoted to drugs, vaccines, and insecticides. Given adequate resources, the future for genetic control looks bright. Numerous research groups are developing exciting approaches; the first of these have successfully completed their first field trials. Genetic control may soon be deployed on a large scale, delivering clean, affordable, sustainable, scalable solutions to major human vector-borne diseases.
Final content remains the responsibility of the authors. Reprinted with permission from Maney Publishing. Originally printed as Alphey et al. Genetic control of Aedes mosquitoes. Pathogens and Global Health 4: All proposed genetic strategies are intended for area-wide use, though the minimum useful area varies by species and strategy. Depending on the microbe, horizontal transfer of the modified microbe between insects might be possible. Paratransgenesis is not discussed further in this review. Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U.
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Abstract Aedes mosquitoes include important vector species such as Aedes aegypti , the major vector of dengue. Introduction Aedes mosquitoes transmit a range of pathogens that cause substantial human morbidity, mortality, and suffering. Classifying Genetic Control Strategies A bewildering variety of genetic control strategies have been proposed; these can be categorised according to the intended outcome, or according to the expected dynamics of the genetic element in the target population.
Refractory Insects Several approaches have been described for making mosquitoes refractory to malaria, including the expression of specific antibodies Isaacs et al. Gene Drive Systems A refractory gene will only have an epidemiologically useful effect if it is present in a significant fraction of the target population. Progress to the Field In fact, after due consideration, national regulators in several countries have approved small-scale field trials as the next step in an incremental testing and scale-up process.
Field trials of genetic control methods known to the authors are: Prospects for the Future One may anticipate that each of the programmes described above will develop further over the coming years, though there will doubtless be numerous technical, legal, and social challenges. Re-engineering the sterile insect technique.
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Finalists for the European Inventor Award 2015
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