A groundbreaking but controversial new gene-editing technology is accelerating a push to eradicate malaria, with scientists recently identifying two ways to block mosquitoes from transmitting the killer disease.
To exterminate a living species by accident is normally frowned on. To do so deliberately might thus seem an extraordinary sin. But if that species is Plasmodium falciparum, the sin may be excused. This parasitic organism causes the most deadly form of malaria. Together with four cousins, it is responsible for about 450,000 deaths a year, and the ruination of the lives of millions more people who survive the initial crisis of disease. Besides the direct suffering this causes, the lost human potential is enormous. The Gates Foundation, an American charity, reckons that eradicating malaria would bring the world $2 trillion of benefits by 2040.
This will be a decisive year for malaria. From the jungles of the Greater Mekong or the urban shanties of Haiti, new tools and tactics are being used to counter the spread of the disease and to alleviate its huge economic and human costs.
WHO is calling on the global health community to urgently address significant gaps in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of malaria. Despite dramatic declines in malaria cases and deaths since 2000, more than half a million lives are still lost to this preventable disease each year.
Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, the Executive Director of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership talks aboutmalaria. Dr. Nafo-Traore has more than 25 years of experience in public health, both in her native country Mali and at the international level.
UNICEF’s ‘Facts about Malaria and Children’ shows the extensive impact of the disease on children and on pregnant women around the world. This year’s World Malaria Day theme is “Invest in the future: Defeat Malaria”. UNICEF will be issuing messages on social media for World Malaria Day 2015 with the hashtag #defeatmalaria
The humble lightbulb is not often counted among the tools used to fight infectious disease. But, as questions hang over the efficacy of the insecticide-treated mosquito net, some argue that additional measures — from innovative indoor lighting to land reuse — will be needed to halt the disease’s spread.
Half the world’s population is at risk from malaria, but how much do you know about the disease? Test your knowledge with this quiz created by Malaria No More
Bill Gates believes it is not only possible to eradicate malaria, he believes is necessary. On this blog post, he shares the strategy he proposes to achieve this mission.
David Reddy, Medicines for Malaria Venture’s chief executive officer, discusses developments in the fight against the disease ahead of World Malaria Day on 25 April. Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV), a public-private partnership that seeks to develop and facilitate the delivery of quality anti-malaria drugs at affordable prices to people in developing countries.
The Pan-African Mosquito Control Association will be hosting a short course on Gene Drive, entitled “Novel Genetic Control strategies: considerations for responsible research”. For more information on the course and on how to apply, please visit this link.
An international group of scientists is pushing a groundbreaking DNA editing programme known as “mosquito gene drive” for a long-term solution to the spread of malaria in Africa.
BANA, Burkina Faso — This small village of mud-brick homes in West Africa might seem the least likely place for an experiment at the frontier of biology.
Malaria, a disease transmitted by a type of mosquito called Anopheles, kills 500,000 people every year, most of them in Africa. But Andrea Crisanti, professor of molecular parasitology at London’s Imperial College, has a plan to eradicate it in many countries.
Introducing genetic changes into mosquito populations could be key to effective malaria control.
Multiple strategies are needed to ensure safe gene drive experiments.
Scientists have created mosquitoes that produce 95% male offspring, with the aim of helping control malaria. Flooding cages of normal mosquitoes with the new strain caused a shortage of females and a population crash.
Scientists have hailed the genetic modification of mosquitoes that could crash the insect’s populations as a “quantum leap” that will make a substantial and important contribution to eradicating malaria.
Scientists believe a new strain of mosquito that produces almost entirely male offspring could turn the tables in the fight against malaria.
UK scientists think genetic modification will help check female population of mosquito species that spreads the disease.