This is a database of peer-reviewed literature that focuses on Genetic Biocontrol research. The latest are shown here.
The optimal strategy of incompatible insect technique (IIT) using Wolbachia and the application to malaria control
For decades, techniques to control vector population with low environmental impact have been widely explored in both field and theoretical studies. The incompatible insect technique (IIT) using Wolbachia, based on cytoplasmic incompatibility, is a technique that Wolbachia-infected male mosquitoes are incapable of producing viable offspring after mating with wild-type female mosquitoes.
Matsufuji, T., & Seirin-Lee, S. (2023). The optimal strategy of incompatible insect technique (IIT) using Wolbachia and the application to malaria control. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 111519.
Gene Drives as Interventions into Nature: the Coproduction of Ontology and Morality in the Gene Drive Debate
Gene drives are potentially ontologically and morally disruptive technologies. The potential to shape evolutionary processes and to eradicate (e.g. malaria-transmitting or invasive) populations raises ontological questions about evolution, nature, and wilderness. The transformative promises and perils of gene drives also raise pressing ethical and political concerns.
Boersma, K., Bovenkerk, B., & Ludwig, D. (2023). Gene Drives as Interventions into Nature: the Coproduction of Ontology and Morality in the Gene Drive Debate. NanoEthics, 17(1), 4.
The boundary problem: Defining and delineating the community in field trials with gene drive organisms
Despite widespread and worldwide efforts to eradicate vector-borne diseases such as malaria, these diseases continue to have an enormous negative impact on public health. For this reason, scientists are working on novel control strategies, such as gene drive technologies (GDTs). As GDT research advances, researchers are contemplating the potential next step of conducting field trials. An important point of discussion regarding these field trials relates to who should be informed, consulted, and involved in decision-making about their design and launch.
de Graeff, N., Pirson, I., van der Graaf, R., Bredenoord, A. L., & Jongsma, K. R. (2023). The boundary problem: Defining and delineating the community in field trials with gene drive organisms. Bioethics.
The Promise and Challenge of Genetic Biocontrol Approaches for Malaria Elimination
Malaria remains an ongoing public health challenge, with over 600,000 deaths in 2021, of which approximately 96% occurred in Africa. Despite concerted efforts, the goal of global malaria elimination has stalled in recent years. This has resulted in widespread calls for new control methods. Genetic biocontrol approaches, including those focused on gene-drive-modified mosquitoes (GDMMs), aim to prevent malaria transmission by either reducing the population size of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes or making the mosquitoes less competent to transmit the malaria parasite.
James, S., & Santos, M. (2023). The Promise and Challenge of Genetic Biocontrol Approaches for Malaria Elimination. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 8(4), 201.
The sex pheromone heptacosane enhances the mating competitiveness of sterile Aedes aegypti males
Aedes aegypti is a vector that transmits various viral diseases, including dengue and Zika. The radiation-based sterile insect technique (SIT) has a limited effect on mosquito control because of the difficulty in irradiating males without reducing their mating competitiveness. In this study, the insect sex pheromone heptacosane was applied to Ae. aegypti males to investigate whether it could enhance the mating competitiveness of irradiated males. The sex pheromone heptacosane enhanced the interaction between Ae. aegypti males and females. Perfuming males irradiated by X-rays or γ-rays with heptacosane led to a significant increase in mating competitiveness. This study provided a new idea for improving the application effect of SIT.
Wang, L. M., Li, N., Zhang, M., Tang, Q., Lu, H. Z., Zhou, Q. Y., … & Deng, S. Q. (2023). The sex pheromone heptacosane enhances the mating competitiveness of sterile Aedes aegypti males. Parasites & Vectors, 16(1), 1-9.
Regulatory and policy considerations for the implementation of gene drive-modified mosquitoes to prevent malaria transmission
Gene drive-modified mosquitoes (GDMMs) are being developed as possible new tools to prevent transmission of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases. To date no GDMMs have yet undergone field testing. This early stage is an opportune time for developers, supporters, and possible users to begin to consider the potential regulatory requirements for eventual implementation of these technologies in national or regional public health programs, especially as some of the practical implications of these requirements may take considerable planning, time and coordination to address.
James, S. L., Dass, B., & Quemada, H. (2023). Regulatory and policy considerations for the implementation of gene drive-modified mosquitoes to prevent malaria transmission. Transgenic Research, 1-16.
Release of sterile Aedes aegypti mosquitoes: chilling effect on mass-reared males survival and escape ability and on irradiated males sexual competitiveness
In the sterile insect technique, it is important to measure the impact of mass-rearing and handling of sterile males to allow a successful control of the target wild population. This study evaluates the effect of pre-release chilling on the survival, escape ability, and sexual competitiveness of male Aedes aegypti.
Sánchez-Aldana-Sánchez, G. A., Liedo, P., Bond, J. G., & Dor, A. (2023). Release of sterile Aedes aegypti mosquitoes: chilling effect on mass-reared males survival and escape ability and on irradiated males sexual competitiveness. Scientific Reports, 13(1), 3797.
From the Lab to the Field: Long-Distance Transport of Sterile Aedes Mosquitoes
Pilot programs of the sterile insect technique (SIT) against Aedes aegypti may rely on importing significant and consistent numbers of high-quality sterile males from a distant mass rearing factory. As such, long-distance mass transport of sterile males may contribute to meet this requirement if their survival and quality are not compromised. This study therefore aimed to develop and assess a novel method for long-distance shipments of sterile male mosquitoes from the laboratory to the field.
Maïga, H., Bakhoum, M. T., Mamai, W., Diouf, G., Bimbilé Somda, N. S., Wallner, T., … & Bouyer, J. (2023). From the lab to the field: Long-distance transport of sterile Aedes mosquitoes. Insects, 14(2), 207.
Review of gene drive modelling and implications for risk assessment of gene drive organisms
Synthetic gene drive (GD) systems constitute a form of novel invasive environmental biotechnology with far-reaching consequences beyond those of other known genetically modified organisms (GMOs). During the last 10 years, the development of GD systems has been closely linked to mathematical modelling which can provide feedback on how to achieve gene drive spread but also may be used to predict the ecological consequences of a gene drive release. GMOs, thus also GD systems, need to pass an environmental risk assessment (ERA) prior to a release into the environment. Models in this respect may play an important role because a release of GD organisms, even at a small scale, may not be reversible.
Frieß, J. L., Lalyer, C. R., Giese, B., Simon, S., & Otto, M. (2023). Review of gene drive modelling and implications for risk assessment of gene drive organisms. Ecological Modelling, 478, 110285.
Harnessing Wolbachia cytoplasmic incompatibility alleles for confined gene drive: A modeling study
Wolbachia bacteria can be placed into insects and released into the wild, where the Wolbachia spreads throughout the insect population. They have been used as an effective disease control tool because the Wolbachia reduces transmission of pathogens by mosquitoes. It may also be possible to use the Wolbachia spread mechanism to power a gene drive, allowing for flexible deployment of cargo genes in insect populations.
Li, J., & Champer, J. (2023). Harnessing Wolbachia cytoplasmic incompatibility alleles for confined gene drive: A modeling study. PLoS Genetics, 19(1), e1010591.