Target Malaria activities in the USA are hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the main campus adjacent to Emory University.
Context of our work
Target Malaria activities in the USA are hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the main campus adjacent to Emory University. They are administered by the CDC Foundation under the Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria/Entomology Branch.
Target Malaria at the CDC is involved in several key support activities. These include strain maintenance and backup of the genetically modified mosquitoes in a variety of genetic backgrounds. As part of this work, the team studies the life history characteristics, genetics, and phenotypes of the strains.
The team conducts studies that support regulatory submissions for both contained use and for potential release in the field. These include comparing modified to wild mosquitoes for important characteristics, such as insecticide resistance, and their vector competency for malaria parasites and o’nyong nyong virus. The team conducts all aspects of these vector competency assays, including Plasmodium falciparum gametocyte culture and o’nyong nyong virus culture for experimental infections.
Target Malaria at CDC also supports various aspects of African insectary operations and field activities such as training, advice, insectary audits and developing standard operating procedures. The insectaries at CDC consist of two large and 24 small walk-in environmental chambers with independent temperature, lighting and humidity control.
Most of the routine rearing and crossing are conducted in small environmental chambers that are separated from the handling areas where time-intensive manipulations are conducted. This provides a comfortable environment for staff, isolates stocks from contamination, provides backup capacity, and protects delicate equipment such as microscopes.