Anthony James and colleagues from UCI and the Pasteur Institute in Paris have produced a model of the Anopheles stephensi mosquito – a major source of malaria in India and the Middle East – that impairs the development of the malaria parasite. These mosquitoes, in turn, cannot transmit the disease through their bites.
“Our group has made significant advances with the creation of transgenic mosquitoes,” said James, a UCI Distinguished Professor of microbiology & molecular genetics and molecular biology & biochemistry. “But this is the first model of a malaria vector with a genetic modification that can potentially exist in wild populations and be transferred through generations without affecting their fitness.”
More than 40 percent of the world’s population lives in areas where there is a risk of contracting malaria. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 300 million to 500 million cases of malaria occur each year, and nearly 1 million people die of the disease annually – largely infants, young children and pregnant women, most of them in Africa.
To read more click here