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Genetically modified mosquitoes key to stopping Zika virus spread
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: February 03, 2021 12:41PM

In 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus a
public health emergency of international concern due to the birth
defects for pregnant women and neurological problems that the virus has
caused. One approach to fight the virus is to releaseĀ  GMOswhich produce
offspring that die before becoming adults. However, wiping future
generations of mosquitoes may cause environmental complications, such as
potentially disrupting food chains, prompting the UM research.

"We genetically manipulated these mosquitoes by inserting an artificial
gene into their genome that triggers one of the immune pathways in the
midgut to recognize and destroy the RNA genome of Zika virus," Franz
said. He added that by developing mosquitoes that are resistant to the
virus, the disease cycle is interrupted so transmission to humans can no
longer take place. He also said that the genetic modification is
inheritable, so future generations of the altered mosquitoes would be
resistant to Zika virus as well.

Genetically modified mosquitoes key to stopping Zika virus spread //
Show Me Mizzou // University of Missouri

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