facebook linkedin twitter

WHO Launches Updated Framework for Testing Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

May 19, 2021 by Alexa Hornbeck
WHO Launches Updated Framework for Testing Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

The World Health Organization Special Program for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases, and the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health launched an updated  framework  for testing genetically modified mosquitoes as a way to foster quality and consistency in the processes for testing and regulating new genetic technologies.

Despite ongoing control efforts, diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, such as malaria and dengue, continue to be an enormous global health burden, as vector-borne diseases are endemic in more than 100 countries and affect approximately half of the world’s population.

For more than two decades, scientists have been working to harness the promise of molecular biology to develop genetically modified mosquitoes for use as public health tools to prevent the transmission of these diseases.

Previously available methods to control mosquito vectors of malaria and dengue were based on the use of insecticides and elimination of mosquito larval breeding sites, and radiation and chemo-sterilization methods. 

However, these methods posed difficulties, such as the dependence on a limited number of insecticides for vector control increased the risk that mosquitoes would develop resistance. 

GMMs hold the promise of being a more effective way to reduce the number of mosquito vectors in a given region or render the local mosquitoes unable to transmit a pathogen because they can reach mosquito populations and mosquito larval breeding sites, which have traditionally been the hardest and most expensive to access, by exploiting the natural behavior of mosquitoes to mate and seek sites for egg laying. 

GMMs are also better suited for urban settings, where current control measures are largely ineffective due to the wide availability of cryptic mosquito larval breeding sites. 

There is also potential for GMMs to reach outdoor and day-biting mosquitoes that often escape control methods such as bed nets and indoor insecticide spraying, and allow researchers to target specific mosquito species, which would avoid ecological and environmental hazards associated with insecticides and provide continuous protection in situations where other disease control methods have been interrupted to prevent the reintroduction of the pathogen after successful elimination efforts. 

A+
a-

In The News

Health

Voting

Health

January 14, 2022
by Dan McCue
White House Announces Plans to Distribute Home COVID Tests

WASHINGTON — Beginning Jan. 19, Americans will be able to order free at-home COVID-19 tests online from the federal government,... Read More

WASHINGTON — Beginning Jan. 19, Americans will be able to order free at-home COVID-19 tests online from the federal government, a senior White House official announced Friday afternoon. In the early going of the new program, individuals will be limited to four free tests per residential... Read More

Mask Rules Get Tighter in Europe in Winter's COVID-19 Wave

ROME (AP) — To mask or not to mask is a question Italy settled early in the COVID-19 outbreak with... Read More

ROME (AP) — To mask or not to mask is a question Italy settled early in the COVID-19 outbreak with a vigorous “yes." Now the onetime epicenter of the pandemic in Europe hopes even stricter mask rules will help it beat the latest infection surge. Other... Read More

January 12, 2022
by Reece Nations
House Rules Committee Rejects G.I. Bill Education Benefits for Vaccine Refusal

WASHINGTON — The House Rules Committee on Monday rejected an amendment to the Guard and Reserve G.I. Bill Parity Act... Read More

WASHINGTON — The House Rules Committee on Monday rejected an amendment to the Guard and Reserve G.I. Bill Parity Act that would guarantee Armed Services members discharged for refusing the COVID-19 vaccine are eligible for G.I. Bill education benefits. The Guard and Reserve G.I. Bill Parity... Read More

January 12, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
Reliability of Antigen Rapid Tests in Detecting Early Omicron Questioned

WASHINGTON — Beginning Jan. 15, private health insurers will be required to cover the cost of home testing kits despite... Read More

WASHINGTON — Beginning Jan. 15, private health insurers will be required to cover the cost of home testing kits despite recent concerns from elected officials and researchers over the reliability and availability of rapid antigen testing. “I’ve heard from so many people who are waiting in... Read More

January 12, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
COVID Pills Show Promise for Combating Severe Infection

Pfizer’s Paxlovid is the first pill treatment to combat severe COVID-19 infection, and new figures from Israel’s Ministry of Health... Read More

Pfizer’s Paxlovid is the first pill treatment to combat severe COVID-19 infection, and new figures from Israel’s Ministry of Health show the pill may hold promise in saving lives. Shortly before Christmas Day, Paxlovid was authorized for at-home treatment of high-risk COVID-19 infections in patients over... Read More

January 12, 2022
by Alexa Hornbeck
Researchers Develop mRNA-based Lyme Disease Vaccine

Yale researchers recently developed an mRNA-based Lyme disease vaccine capable of targeting antigens in tick saliva to prevent their ability... Read More

Yale researchers recently developed an mRNA-based Lyme disease vaccine capable of targeting antigens in tick saliva to prevent their ability to transmit pathogens.  According to the CDC, nearly half a million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with Lyme Disease every year. The ailment is most... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top