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Technology Scientists genetically modify mosquitoes to resist all dengue viruses

18:02  17 january  2020
18:02  17 january  2020 Source:   cnet.com

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Scientists modified female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with the antibody against the virus . The mosquitoes appear to be unable to spread any According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, dengue is the "fastest spreading mosquito -borne viral disease in the world."

Biotech company released millions of genetically modified mosquitoes into Jacobina in Brazil. Considered the world's deadliest animal, mosquitoes spread a plethora of diseases, including Zika virus , dengue fever, yellow fever and West Nile virus .

Getting a mosquito bite can be more than just annoying. If the pest is carrying a virus like dengue, it can make you sick with fever, rash and extreme pain or it can even kill you. But a team of researchers may have a solution. Scientists from the Australia national science agency CSIRO and the University of California-San Diego have engineered the first genetically modified mosquitoes resistant to spreading all four types of the dengue virus.

a close up of a person: A team working with Professor Omar Akbari of UC-San Diego has engineered mosquitoes that repel the four known times of dengue virus. Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications © Provided by CNET A team working with Professor Omar Akbari of UC-San Diego has engineered mosquitoes that repel the four known times of dengue virus. Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications a insect on the ground: The Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads dengue virus. Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications © Provided by CNET The Aedes aegypti mosquito spreads dengue virus. Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

"Recent advances in genetic engineering technologies have made it possible to create mosquitoes with reduced vector competence, limiting their ability to acquire and transmit pathogens," scientists stated in a research paper published Thursday in the medical journal PLOS Pathogens,

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Researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (https://www.jhsph.edu/) have genetically modified mosquitoes to resist infection from dengue

The mosquito -borne disease marked by fever, rash, and debilitating pain results from any of four genetically distinct versions of the dengue virus . Conventional control strategies for dengue , such as removing stagnant water where mosquitoes breed, spraying insecticides, and protecting people

a insect on the ground: University of California San Diego Associate Professor Omar S. Akbari holds up genetically-modified mosquitoes resistant to spreading dengue. © Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

University of California San Diego Associate Professor Omar S. Akbari holds up genetically-modified mosquitoes resistant to spreading dengue.

Scientists modified female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes with the antibody against the virus. The mosquitoes appear to be unable to spread any form of the debilitating disease.

"Once the female mosquito takes in blood, the antibody is activated and expressed -- that's the trigger," study author and UC-San Diego Professor Omar S. Akbari said in a statement. "The antibody is able to hinder the replication of the virus and prevent its dissemination throughout the mosquito, which then prevents its transmission to humans. It's a powerful approach."

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Researchers have genetically modified mosquitoes to resist infection from dengue virus , a virus that sickens an estimated 96 million people globally from research organizations. Researchers create mosquito resistant to dengue virus . Boosting natural ability of mosquito to fight disease could

Thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes will be released in Panama in an attempt to stop the spread of the dengue virus . The authorities hope that releasing enough of the genetically modified male mosquitoes into the wild will eventually cause the overall mosquito population to decline.

The research could eventually change the lives of millions of people. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, dengue is the "fastest spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world."

"We are already in the early stages of testing methods to simultaneously neutralize mosquitoes against dengue and a suite of other viruses such as Zika, Yellow Fever and Chikungunya," Akbari said.

The mosquitoes in the study were tested in CSIRO's bio-containment site specifically designed for research of dangerous infectious agents.

The study found that the new genetically engineered mosquitoes outperform mosquitoes armed with bacterium Wolbachia pipientis approved by the EPA in 2017.

2019: the year gene therapy came of age .
In the summer, a mother in Nashville with a seemingly incurable genetic disorder finally found an end to her suffering -- by editing her genome. © YinYang / IStock.com For decades, the DNA of living organisms such as corn and salmon has been modified, but Crispr, invented in 2012, made gene editing more widely accessible. Victoria Gray's recovery from sickle cell disease, which had caused her painful seizures, came in a year of breakthroughs in one of the hottest areas of medical research -- gene therapy.

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