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Current status of genetic strategies for mosquito-borne disease control
March 30, 11:40 am – 12:30 pm PDT
Speaker: John Marshall, PhD
Malaria, dengue and other mosquito-borne diseases continue to pose a major global public health burden throughout much of the world. Currently-available tools, such as insecticides and antimalarial drugs, are not expected to be sufficient to eliminate these diseases from highly-endemic areas, and consequently, there is interest in novel control strategies, including genetics-based approaches. In this talk, John Marshall will discuss the current status of genetics-based strategies to control mosquito-borne diseases. These include approaches to suppress mosquito populations by releasing genetically sterile male mosquitoes, and approaches to spread disease-refractory genes into mosquito populations, rendering them incapable of transmitting diseases to humans. Technical progress for both approaches has been greatly accelerated by the CRISPR gene-editing revolution, and monitoring, risk assessment, regulation, and community engagement are now moving to the forefront.