The Aedes aegypti mosquito is known to transmit dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya virus, and Zika virus which have a worldwide impact on people’s health. Moreover, both Chikungunya and Zika virus were recently introduced into the western hemisphere and are poised to sweep throughout the areas in the range of mosquitos with the potential of infecting people who live in these broad areas. Attempts to eradicate these diseases by eliminating the Aedes aegypti mosquito by conventional use of spraying insecticides has met with limited success. So, in the absence of effective mosquito abatement, vaccines may provide the best strategy of preventing disease. Currently, there are vaccines for Yellow Fever and Dengue Fever (undergoing further testing); no vaccines exist for either Chikungunya or Zika virus at present. In the absence of such vaccines, UC San Diego researchers have developed a novel approach to control the spread of mosquitos.
Researchers from the laboratory of Ethan Bier at UC San Diego have developed an alternative technology for mosquito control by specifically targeting the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Genetically modified strains of Aedes aegypti will be introduced into the general mosquito population to suppress as well as eliminate the target populations. Specifically, Aedes aegypti will have a Cas9-mediated split gene-drive system for masculinizing the mosquito and ensuring that any female carries a sterile mutation. In addition, gRNAs direct Cas9 cleavage of insecticide-resistance loci, renders female mosquitos that escape the male converting gene drive, are sensitive to insecticides. This novel approach works by combining split gene drives and a female sterile fail-safe mechanism that acts as a secondary built-in population suppression strategy.
The technology provides a mechanism for reducing or eliminating populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitos.
Offers a lower cost than Sterile Insect Technology and may be more effective method for elimination of Aedes aegypti mosquitos
A provisional patent application has been filed; and this technology is available for licensing
|Patent Cooperation Treaty||Published Application||2018035300||02/22/2018||2017-024|
Additional Patent Pending
Zika, Aedes aegypti mosquito, mosquito abatement, insecticides, genetically modified mosquito