Impact of Technological Improvements on Traditional Control Strategies

  • Mark Q. Benedict
  • Alan S. Robinson
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 627)


Since 1982 when transgenesis of Drosophila melanogaster splashed onto the scientific scene, 1,2 members of the vector biology community (e.g., refs. 3, 4) and international public health organization5 have recognized the potential utility of transgenesis to produce a modern incarnation of a historically puzzling observation: “anophelism without malaria:” The presence of anophelines but without disease. The corresponding concept among arbovirologists does not have a similarly appealing description, but the essence is the same: replacement of mosquito populations that are capable of transmitting disease with modified populations that are not. Visionary proponents argue that such a strategy is not only technically feasible, but that it leverages the power of biotechnology and a modern understanding of the means by which modified phenotypes can be spread through populations using transposable elements, cytoplasmic incompatibility, homing endonucleases, and meiotic drive. If theoretical possibilities are realized, such a vector population transformation would have minimal disruption to an ecosystem due to specific modification of only one vector/pathogen interaction and that without the use of drugs or environmentally harmful insecticides. Advocates cautiously emphasize that such applications will likely never be magic bullet solutions, and that they will be implemented only in integrated vector management programs. Nonetheless, realization of such a goal would be a remarkable demonstration of biological power for the benefit of human health.


Sterile Insect Technique Cytoplasmic Incompatibility Homing Endonuclease Selfish Gene Wild Female 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Entomology BranchNCZVED/CCIDAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Agency’s LaboratoriesJoint FAO/IAEA Programme of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture Insect Pest Control Sub-Programme International Atomic Energy AgencySeibersdorfAustria

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