Malaria Mosquitoes Eliminated in Lab by Creating All-Male Population


What do you think would be the precedent and regulatory pathway in which this decision is made if done outside the lab? I think we should eradicate the mosquitoes because it kills hundreds of thousands of people in Africa yearly, and it would not cause a significant ecological problem as only the vectors would be effectively targeted, which is 40 species of a total 3500.
 

sophisticate

Wistful Wanderlust
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What do you think would be the precedent and regulatory pathway in which this decision is made if done outside the lab? I think we should eradicate the mosquitoes because it kills hundreds of thousands of people in Africa yearly, and it would not cause a significant ecological problem as only the vectors would be effectively targeted, which is 40 species of a total 3500.
Thank you for sharing, bro.

At first, I thought about the ecological implications that could impact birds, bats and frogs that feed on them as this technology is favourable to humans. Then I realized these creatures probably do not exclusively subsist off mosquitoes alone. The potential for mosquito-borne disease eradication (particularly for malaria) could save 250 million lives annually which disproportionately burden African nations. And the hope of freeing up of 1.3% of GDP which is allocated to malaria-control in many SSA countries. In turn public health expenditure could be redirected toward other health priorities.

From what I gather there should be a multi-prong effort in malaria eradication that utilizes existing malaria controls (1) larval-control methods (2) SES improvements (housing, screened windows and A/C) in tandem with novel vector reduction efforts i.e. GM mosquitoes.

Oxitec, UK biotech firm has been testing GM mosquitoes for the last decade.
  • Their first-generation of self-limiting male mosquitoes was with Aedse Aegyptus mosquitoes which involved the releasing of 450 K males in a small town in Brazil that reduced their population by 90%.
  • The second-generation of their field trials have resulted in a population collapse of 96%.
  • Last year (2018/19) they wished to apply their self-limiting mosquito’s technology to malaria spreading mosquitoes.
There are no clear regulatory pathways. And where would one begin testing? Some place with established biosafety frameworks methinks. One could consult the NEPAD Agency African Biosafety Network of Expertise (NEPAD/ABNE) is a biosafety resource network for African regulators and policy makers. In the country with the first pilot for field trials you would need to first consult with local leaders, local government authorities (with interdepartmental collaboration), farmers and communities.
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https://www.abim.ch/fileadmin/abim/documents/presentations2014/4_Camilla_Beech_ABIM2014_rev.pdf
 
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Thank you for sharing, bro.

At first, I thought about the ecological implications that could impact birds, bats and frogs that feed on them as this technology is favourable to humans. Then I realized these creatures probably do not exclusively subsist off mosquitoes alone. The potential for mosquito-borne disease eradication (particularly for malaria) could save 250 million lives annually which disproportionately burden African nations. And the hope of freeing up of 1.3% of GDP which is allocated to malaria-control in many SSA countries. In turn public health expenditure could be redirected toward other health priorities.

From what I gather there should be a multi-prong effort in malaria eradication that utilizes existing malaria controls (1) larval-control methods (2) SES improvements (housing, screened windows and A/C) in tandem with novel vector reduction efforts i.e. GM mosquitoes.

Oxitec, UK biotech firm has been testing GM mosquitoes for the last decade.
  • Their first-generation of self-limiting male mosquitoes was with Aedse Aegyptus mosquitoes which involved the releasing of 450 K males in a small town in Brazil that reduced their population by 90%.
  • The second-generation of their field trials have resulted in a population collapse of 96%.
  • Last year (2018/19) they wished to apply their self-limiting mosquito’s technology to malaria spreading mosquitoes.
There are no clear regulatory pathways. And where would one begin testing? Some place with established biosafety frameworks methinks. One could consult the NEPAD Agency African Biosafety Network of Expertise (NEPAD/ABNE) is a biosafety resource network for African regulators and policy makers. In the country with the first pilot for field trials you would need to first consult with local leaders, local government authorities (with interdepartmental collaboration), farmers and communities.
https://www.abim.ch/fileadmin/abim/documents/presentations2014/4_Camilla_Beech_ABIM2014_rev.pdf
Thank you for the quality post.
 
it would not cause a significant ecological problem as only the vectors would be effectively targeted, which is 40 species of a total 3500.
^^ This is the part I was worried about but if there isn't an ecological impact as a result, I don't see a problem. It can save lives as you said. I think it might prove to be a little difficult to eradicate it since there are other factors like @sophisticate mentioned.

I wonder if they will ever use this method to GM other species they deem to be a threat using the findings they get from this. We'll end up potentially being able to change the genetic makeup of nature to benefit us which is wild to think about.
 
^^ This is the part I was worried about but if there isn't an ecological impact as a result, I don't see a problem. It can save lives as you said. I think it might prove to be a little difficult to eradicate it since there are other factors like @sophisticate mentioned.

I wonder if they will ever use this method to GM other species they deem to be a threat using the findings they get from this. We'll end up potentially being able to change the genetic makeup of nature to benefit us which is wild to think about.
You raise a very important concern. We know from history that people take great advantage of arbitrary systems, and this one would be no different.

Hopefully, they'll narrow the requirement down very specifically, so they don't extrapolate those rules and regulations and remove other species through the means of legal loopholes somewhere down the line.

Humans tend to push the boundaries to seek whatever end goal, and that's why I don't trust private industry with their level of personal ethics since economic actors incentivize these situations. Lol

There needs to be in place a strong mechanism that guides their behavior to the rule of law, and the problem is such inhibitors often take longer to establish than the development of new and potentially disruptive biotechnologies.

I still think the malaria-carrying species should be eliminated, but there should be a correct way to do it, and I'm certain some already speculate on how far we can go with species eradication because it will be hard to draw the arbitrary line.
 
You raise a very important concern. We know from history that people take great advantage of arbitrary systems, and this one would be no different.

Hopefully, they'll narrow the requirement down very specifically, so they don't extrapolate those rules and regulations and remove other species through the means of legal loopholes somewhere down the line.

Humans tend to push the boundaries to seek whatever end goal, and that's why I don't trust private industry with their level of personal ethics since economic actors incentivize these situations. Lol

There needs to be in place a strong mechanism that guides their behavior to the rule of law, and the problem is such inhibitors often take longer to establish than the development of new and potentially disruptive biotechnologies.

I still think the malaria-carrying species should be eliminated, but there should be a correct way to do it, and I'm certain some already speculate on how far we can go with species eradication because it will be hard to draw the arbitrary line.
Yeah I agree, I hope they're cautious in how they handle this. I would've suggested to halt all activity so adequate guidelines can be put in place to avoid obscure rules that vary from person to person to be set. This would result in development being heavily restricted which isn't ideal.

It's kinda funny that we don't trust private companies since they can run away with ideas while disregarding ethical implications (at times) but I feel the same way when it's left to the government lol. I guess the latter is more reassuring because it's for the benefit of the people (for the majority of the time.)

Anyway, I hope this case turns out well and malaria related illnesses decline in the future.
 
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