A new gene editing tool has been successfully applied to the southern
house mosquito by researchers at the BBSRC-funded Pirbright Institute.
The female southern house mosquito (Culex quinquefasciatus say) largely
feeds on birds, which results in the transmission of avian malaria, an
important contributor to the extinction of several avian species.
This mosquito species will also target mammals, spreading diseases such
as lymphatic filariasis, for which there are 50 million human cases
worldwide despite great efforts with mass drug administration programmes.
Since the southern house mosquito‚??s introduction to the USA in 1999,
there have also been 48,000 reported human cases of West Nile virus (WNV).
Current control strategies for the southern house mosquito are heavily
dependent on the use of insecticides. However, these impose hazards to
both human and ecosystem health and are becoming increasingly
ineffective with the rise of resistance.
Scientists use gene editing tool to target mosquito-spread disease ‚??