Studies of Transgenic Mosquitoes in Disease-Endemic Countries: Preparation of Containment Facilities

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2018 Jan;18(1):21-30. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2017.2192.


Novel approaches to area-wide control of vector species offer promise as additional tools in the fight against vectored diseases. Evaluation of transgenic insect strains aimed at field population control in disease-endemic countries may involve international partnerships and should be done in a stepwise approach, starting with studies in containment facilities. The preparations of both new-build and renovated facilities are described, including working with local and national regulations regarding land use, construction, and biosafety requirements, as well as international guidance to fill any gaps in regulation. The examples given are for containment categorization at Arthropod Containment Level 2 for initial facility design, classification of wastes, and precautions during shipping. Specific lessons were derived from preparations to evaluate transgenic (non-gene drive) mosquitoes in West and East African countries. Documented procedures and the use of a non-transgenic training strain for trial shipments and culturing were used to develop competence and confidence among the African facility staff, and along the chain of custody for transport. This practical description is offered to support other research consortia or institutions preparing containment facilities and operating procedures in conditions where research on transgenic insects is at an early stage.

Keywords: biosafety; compliance; containment; insectary; mosquitoes; transgenic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Africa
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified*
  • Containment of Biohazards*
  • Culicidae / genetics*
  • Endemic Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors / genetics
  • Laboratories / standards*
  • Malaria / epidemiology
  • Mosquito Control / methods*