Daily Hot Topic

Topic : Fighting Malaria with Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

GS-3 Mains  : Science and Tech

Revision Notes


Malaria: A Deadly Threat

  • Malaria is a life-threatening parasitic disease transmitted by infected female Anopheles mosquitoes.
  • It primarily affects tropical and subtropical regions.
  • In 2021, there were an estimated 247 million malaria cases and 619,000 deaths worldwide.
  • Africa carries the heaviest burden, accounting for 96% of malaria deaths globally.

GM Mosquitoes: A New Weapon

  • Scientists are using genetic modification to develop mosquitoes that can suppress malaria transmission.
  • The approach involves releasing genetically engineered male mosquitoes into the wild.
  • These males carry a gene that prevents their female offspring from reaching adulthood, ultimately reducing the mosquito population that can transmit malaria.

How it Works:

  • Female mosquitoes, not males, bite humans and transmit malaria.
  • By targeting female mosquito offspring, this method aims to significantly reduce malaria transmission rates.
  • The released male mosquitoes only mate with females, and they themselves cannot transmit malaria.

Global Fight Against Malaria:

  • The World Health Organization (WHO) has set ambitious goals to reduce malaria cases and deaths by 2030.
  • Initiatives like the ‘E-2025’ and ‘High Burden to High Impact (HBHI)’ programs target specific countries with high malaria prevalence for eradication or significant reduction.

India’s Fight Against Malaria:

  • India aims to eliminate malaria entirely by 2027.
  • The National Framework for Malaria Elimination (NFME) and Malaria Elimination Research Alliance-India (MERA-India) are key programs driving this goal.

Source : https://www.downtoearth.org.in/news/africa/djibouti-releases-gm-mosquitoes-to-fight-malaria-how-it-works-96392#:~:text=Genetically%20modified%20(GMO)%20mosquitoes%20were,




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