Gene drives are genetic elements that in sexually reproducing organisms spread faster than those transmitted through a Mendelian fashion. Since gene drives can be engineered to modify different aspects of physiology and reproduction, they have been proposed as a new and revolutionary tool to control vector-borne diseases, particularly those transmitted by the genera Anopheles and Aedes (Culicidae), such as malaria, Dengue and Zika virus. This approach may impact on human health by lowering the transmission of such devastating diseases. However, the release of genetically modified mosquitos (or other species) into the environment raises a series of questions related to the still incipient technology and our present understanding of the complex structure and dynamics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.
Moreno RD, Valera L, Borgoño C, Castilla JC and Riveros JL (2024) Gene drives, mosquitoes, and ecosystems: an interdisciplinary approach to emerging ethical concerns. Front. Environ. Sci. 11:1254219. doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2023.1254219