Impact of mosquito gene drive on malaria elimination in a computational model

Gene drive mosquitoes have tremendous potential to help eliminate malaria, and multiple gene drive approaches have recently shown promise in laboratory settings. Mathematical modeling is used to evaluate these approaches by simulating realistic field settings with seasonality to determine constraints on construct parameters and release strategies.

Professor Austin Burt talks about the Capabilities and Tradeoffs of Gene Drive Techniques at The National Academy of Sciences

WHO World Malaria Report 2016

The World Malaria Report 2016 summarizes information received from malaria-endemic countries and other sources, and updates the analyses presented in the 2015 report.

It provides an in-depth analysis of progress and trends in the malaria response at global, regional and country levels.

Use of Gene Drive technology in Mosquitoes to reduce the burden of malaria in Africa: A systematic evaluation of the risks

Open Letter on Gene Drive Research

Over 75 scientists and experts have joined together to sign a letter urging governments from around the world to support ongoing research on gene drive. The letter was prepared in the context of the UN Biodiversity Conference taking place in Mexico where governments have been asked by some groups to pass a ban on gene drive research.

View the Letter

Genome Editing: an ethical review

This review considers the impact of recent advances in genome editing, which have diffused rapidly across many fields of biological research, and the range of ethical questions to which they give rise.

Mapping the End of Malaria

The world must focus serious attention and resources on ending the Zika epidemic. At the same time, we should keep in mind that the overwhelming toll of mosquito-related illness and death comes from malaria. Malaria is the key reason mosquitoes are the deadliest animal in the world.

Gene Drive Research in Non-Human Organisms: Recommendations for Responsible Conduct

This study by the National Academies of Sciences examines a range of questions and opinions about the science, oversight, governance, and ethics of gene-drive research. It is intended to provide an independent, objective examination of what has been learned since the development of gene drives based on current evidence.

Grand Challenges in Global Health: Profile of Austin Burt

UK House of Lords Report on “Genetically Modified Insects”

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee in its report ‘Genetically Modified Insects’ calls on the Government to launch a field trial of genetically modified insects, and make the most of the UK’s status as world leader in this area of research.

WHO World Malaria Report 2015

The World Malaria Report 2015 summarizes information received from malaria-endemic countries and other sources, and updates the analyses presented in the 2014 report.

It assesses global and regional malaria trends, highlights progress towards global targets, and describes opportunities and challenges in controlling and eliminating the disease.

From Aspiration to Action: What Will It Take to End Malaria?

Today, we have an opportunity to achieve something that was once thought impossible: we can end malaria forever. From Aspiration to Action seeks to spark a serious conversation about what it will take to eradicate Malaria within a generation

Malaria: the last mile

This special report, published in the New Statesman magazine and based upon a roundtable event held in partnership with Malaria Consortium, focuses on the threat of drug resistant malaria in Southeast Asia and beyond. The roundtable brought together figures from civil society, academia, private sector and parliamentarians to discuss how the UK can contribute to eliminating malaria in order to tackle drug resistance.

FT Health Combating Malaria

New tools and tactics are being used to counter the spread of malaria across the world. Governments and researchers are hoping drugs, promised vaccine trials and new pesticides will help alleviate malaria’s huge economic and human costs. The global efforts are a race against time as mosquitoes grow resistant to existing pesticides and drugs.

Global Malaria Mapper

Created by the Medicines for Malaria Venture and the WHO Global Malaria Programme, this interactive online Map Editor allows you to access and map comprehensive, reliable and relevant data from the WHO World Malaria Report 2014.

Scientific Publications by Our Team

Modeling & Reviews

“Heritable strategies for controlling insect vectors of disease” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci; 369, 20130432 Burt, A. (2014)

“Modelling the spatial spread of a homing endonuclease gene in a mosquito population” Journal of Applied Ecology 50(5): 1216-1225 North A, Burt A, Godfray HCJ (2013)

“Requirements for effective malaria control with homing endonuclease genes” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108(43):E874-80 Deredec A, Godfray HC, Burt A (2011)

“Site-specific selfish genes as tools for the control and genetic engineering of natural populations” Proc. R. Soc. Lond.270: 921-928 Burt A (2003)

Enzyme Design

“MegaTALs: a rare-cleaving nuclease architecture for therapeutic genome engineering” Nucleic Acids Res. 2014 Feb;42(4):2591-601 Boissel S, Jarjour J, Astrakhan A, Adey A, Gouble A, Duchateau P, Shendure J, Stoddard BL, Certo MT, Baker D, Scharenberg AM (2014)

“Tapping natural reservoirs of homing endonucleases for targeted gene modification” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108(32):13077-82 Takeuchi R, Lambert AR, Mak AN, Jacoby K, Dickson RJ, Gloor GB, Scharenberg AM, Edgell DR, Stoddard BL (2011)

“High-resolution profiling of homing endonuclease binding and catalytic specificity using yeast surface display” Nucleic Acids Res. 37(20):6871-80 Jarjour J, West-Foyle H, Certo MT, Hubert CG, Doyle L, Getz MM, Stoddard BL, Scharenberg AM (2009)

Mosquito transgenics

“A CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system targeting female reproduction in the malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae Nature Biotechnology (2016) Andrew Hammond, Roberto Galizi, Kyros Kyrou, Alekos Simoni, Carla Siniscalchi, Dimitris Katsanos, Matthew Gribble, Dean Baker, Eric Marois, Steven Russell, Austin Burt, Nikolai Windbichler, Andrea Crisanti & Tony Nolan

“A synthetic sex ratio distortion system in the human malaria mosquito” Nature Communications; Aug 11(8):793 Galizi R, Doyle LA, Menichelli M, Bernardini F, Deredec A, Burt A, Stoddard BL, Windbichler N & Crisanti A (2014)

“Development of synthetic selfish elements based on modular nucleases in Drosophila melanogaster” Nucleic Acids Res. Simoni A, Siniscalchi C, Chan YS, Huen DS, Russell S, Windbichler N & Crisanti A (2014)

“Site-specific genetic engineering of the Anopheles gambiae Y chromosome” PNAS; 111(21): 7600-5 Bernardini F, Galizi R, Menichelli M, Papathanos PA, Dritsou V, Marois E, Crisanti A & Windbichler N (2014)

“Insect population control by homing endonuclease-based gene drive: an evaluation in Drosophila melanogaster” Genetics 188(1):33-44 Chan YS, Naujoks DA, Huen DS, Russell S (2011)

“A synthetic homing endonuclease-based gene drive system in the human malaria mosquito” Nature 473(7346):212-5 Windbichler N, Menichelli M, Papathanos PA, Thyme SB, Li H, Ulge UY, Hovde BT, Baker D, Monnat RJ Jr, Burt A, Crisanti A (2011)

“The vasa regulatory region mediates germline expression and maternal transmission of proteins in the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae: a versatile tool for genetic control strategies” BMC Mol. Biol. 10:65 Papathanos PA, Windbichler N, Menichelli M, Burt A, Crisanti A (2009)

“Targeting the X chromosome during spermatogenesis induces Y chromosome transmission ratio distortion and early dominant embryo lethality in Anopheles gambiae” PLoS Genet. 4(12):e1000291 Windbichler N, Papathanos PA, Crisanti A (2008)

Large cage studies

“Infertility resulting from transgenic I-PpoI male Anopheles gambiae in large cage trials” Pathog. Glob. Health 106(1):20-31 Klein TA, Windbichler N, Deredec A, Burt A, Benedict MQ (2012)

“Stimulating Anopheles gambiae swarms in the laboratory: application for behavioural and fitness studies” Malaria Journal 2015, 14:271 Luca Facchinelli, Laura Valerio, Rosemary S Lees, Clelia F Oliva, Tania Persampieri, C Matilda Collins, Andrea Crisanti, Roberta Spaccapelo and Mark Q Benedict

Comparative genomics & population genetics

“Highly evolvable malaria vectors: The genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquitoes” Science 2 January 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6217 Daniel E. Neafsey, Robert M. Waterhouse, Mohammad R. Abai, Sergey S. Aganezov, Max A. Alekseyev, James E. Allen, James Amon, Bruno Arcà, Peter Arensburger, Gleb Artemov, Lauren A. Assour, Hamidreza Basseri, Aaron Berlin, Bruce W. Birren, Stephanie A. Blandin, Andrew I. Brockman, Thomas R. Burkot, Austin Burt, Clara S. Chan, Cedric Chauve, Joanna C. Chiu, Mikkel Christensen, Carlo Costantini, Victoria L. M. Davidson, Elena Deligianni, Tania Dottorini, Vicky Dritsou, Stacey B. Gabriel, Wamdaogo M. Guelbeogo, Andrew B. Hall, Mira V. Han, Thaung Hlaing, Daniel S. T. Hughes, Adam M. Jenkins, Xiaofang Jiang, Irwin Jungreis, Evdoxia G. Kakani, Maryam Kamali, Petri Kemppainen, Ryan C. Kennedy, Ioannis K. Kirmitzoglou, Lizette L. Koekemoer, Njoroge Laban, Nicholas Langridge, Mara K. N. Lawniczak, Manolis Lirakis, Neil F. Lobo, Ernesto Lowy, Robert M. MacCallum, Chunhong Mao, Gareth Maslen, Charles Mbogo, Jenny McCarthy, Kristin Michel, Sara N. Mitchell, Wendy Moore, Katherine A. Murphy, Anastasia N. Naumenko, Tony Nolan, Eva M. Novoa, Samantha O’Loughlin, Chioma Oringanje, Mohammad A. Oshaghi, Nazzy Pakpour, Philippos A. Papathanos, Ashley N. Peery, Michael Povelones, Anil Prakash, David P. Price, Ashok Rajaraman, Lisa J. Reimer, David C. Rinker, Antonis Rokas, Tanya L. Russell, N’Fale Sagnon, Maria V. Sharakhova, Terrance Shea, Felipe A. Simão, Frederic Simard, Michel A. Slotman, Pradya Somboon, Vladimir Stegniy, Claudio J. Struchiner, Gregg W. C. Thomas, Marta Tojo, Pantelis Topalis, José M. C. Tubio, Maria F. Unger, John Vontas, Catherine Walton, Craig S. Wilding, Judith H. Willis, Yi-Chieh Wu, Guiyun Yan, Evgeny M. Zdobnov, Xiaofan Zhou, Flaminia Catteruccia, George K. Christophides, Frank H. Collins, Robert S. Cornman, Andrea Crisanti, Martin J. Donnelly, Scott J. Emrich, Michael C. Fontaine, William Gelbart, Matthew W. Hahn, Immo A. Hansen, Paul I. Howell, Fotis C. Kafatos, Manolis Kellis, Daniel Lawson, Christos Louis, Shirley Luckhart, Marc A. T. Muskavitch, José M. Ribeiro, Michael A. Riehle, Igor V. Sharakhov, Zhijian Tu, Laurence J. Zwiebel, and Nora J. Besansky (2015)

“Extensive introgression in a malaria vector species complex revealed by phylogenomics”. Science; Jan 2;347(6217):1258524. Fontaine, M.C., Pease, J.B., Steele, A., Waterhouse, R.W., Neafsey, D.E., Sharakhov, I.V., Jiang, X., Hall, A.B., Catteruccia, F., Kakani, E., Mitchell, S.N., Wu, Y-C., Smith, H.A., Love, R.R., Lawniczak, M.K., Slotman, M.A., Emrich, S.J., Hahn, M.W., Besansky, N.J. (2015)

“Genomic Analyses of Three Malaria Vectors Reveals Extensive Shared Polymorphism but Contrasting Population Histories” Mol. Biol. Evol. 31(4):889–902 O’Loughlin SM, Magesa S, Mbogo C, Mosha F, Midega J, Lomas S, Burt A (2014)

Reports by External Expert Groups

Target Malaria’s response to the NAS report

Target Malaria’s statement (Download the PDF – 49KB) Target Malaria’s response to the NAS report recommendation (Download the PDF – 373KB)

Independent risk assessment for contained laboratory studies on a sterile male strain of Anopheles gambiae

Download the PDF (7MB)