Gene drive systems for insect disease vectors

Nat Rev Genet. 2006 Jun;7(6):427-35. doi: 10.1038/nrg1870.


The elegant mechanisms by which naturally occurring selfish genetic elements, such as transposable elements, meiotic drive genes, homing endonuclease genes and Wolbachia, spread at the expense of their hosts provide some of the most fascinating and remarkable subjects in evolutionary genetics. These elements also have enormous untapped potential to be used in the control of some of the world's most devastating diseases. Effective gene drive systems for spreading genes that can block the transmission of insect-borne pathogens are much needed. Here we explore the potential of natural gene drive systems and discuss the artificial constructs that could be envisaged for this purpose.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Culicidae / genetics*
  • Culicidae / growth & development*
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • Disease Vectors*
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors* / genetics
  • Insect Vectors* / growth & development
  • Insecta
  • Models, Genetic
  • Organisms, Genetically Modified / growth & development*
  • Parasitic Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Wolbachia / genetics
  • Wolbachia / growth & development


  • DNA Transposable Elements