Transgenic mosquitoes are being developed as novel components of area-wide approaches to vector-borne disease control. Best practice is to develop these in phases, beginning with laboratory studies, before moving to field testing and inclusion in control programs, to ensure safety and prevent costly field testing of unsuitable strains. The process of identifying and developing good candidate strains requires maintenance of transgenic colonies over many generations in containment facilities. By working in disease endemic countries with target vector populations, laboratory strains may be developed and selected for properties that will enhance intended control efficacy in the next phase, while avoiding traits that introduce unnecessary risks. Candidate strains aiming toward field use must consistently achieve established performance criteria, throughout the process of scaling up from small study colonies to production of sufficient numbers for field testing and possible open release. Maintenance of a consistent quality can be demonstrated by a set of insect quality and insectary operating indicators, measured over time at predetermined intervals. These indicators: inform comparability of studies using various candidate strains at different times and locations; provide evidence of conformity relevant to compliance with terms of approval for regulated use; and can be used to validate some assumptions related to risk assessments covering the contained phase and for release into the environment.
Keywords: containment; insectary; mosquitoes; quality assurance; transgenic.