From population structure to genetically-engineered vectors: New ways to control vector-borne diseases?

Sparagano, Olivier and de Luna, Carlos (2008) From population structure to genetically-engineered vectors: New ways to control vector-borne diseases? Infection, Genetics and Evolution, 8 (4). pp. 520-525. ISSN 1567-1348

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Epidemiological studies on vectors and the pathogens they can carry (such as Borrelia burgdorferi) are showing some correlations between infection rates and biodiversity highlighting the “dilution” effects on potential vectors. Meanwhile other studies comparing sympatric small rodent species demonstrated that rodent species transmitting more pathogens are parasitized by more ectoparasite species. Studies on population structure and size have also proven a difference on the intensity of the parasitic infection. Furthermore, preliminary results in genetic improvement in mosquitoes (genetic markers, sexing, and genetic sterilization) will also increase performance as it has already been shown in field applications in developing countries. Recent results have greatly improved the fitness of genetically-modified insects compared to wild type populations with new approaches such as the post-integration elimination of transposon sequences, stabilising any insertion in genetically-modified insects. Encouraging results using the Sterile Insect Technique highlighted some metabolism manipulation to avoid the viability of offspring from released parent insect in the wild. Recent studies on vector symbionts would also bring a new angle in vector control capabilities, while complete DNA sequencing of some arthropods could point out ways to block the deadly impact on animal and human populations. These new potential approaches will improve the levels of control or even in some cases would eradicate vector species and consequently the vector-borne diseases they can transmit. In this paper we review some of the population biology theories, biological control methods, and the genetic techniques that have been published in the last years that are recommended to control for vector-borne diseases.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: ticks, mosquitoes, mites, biodiversity, genetic engineering
Subjects: C100 Biology
C500 Microbiology
C700 Molecular Biology, Biophysics and Biochemistry
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Applied Sciences
Depositing User: Ellen Cole
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2012 13:02
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 17:31

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