Controlling vector-borne diseases by releasing modified mosquitoes

Nat Rev Microbiol. 2018 Aug;16(8):508-518. doi: 10.1038/s41579-018-0025-0.


Aedes mosquito-transmitted diseases, such as dengue, Zika and chikungunya, are becoming major global health emergencies while old threats, such as yellow fever, are re-emerging. Traditional control methods, which have focused on reducing mosquito populations through the application of insecticides or preventing breeding through removal of larval habitat, are largely ineffective, as evidenced by the increasing global disease burden. Here, we review novel mosquito population reduction and population modification approaches with a focus on control methods based on the release of mosquitoes, including the release of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes and strategies to genetically modify the vector, that are currently under development and have the potential to contribute to a reversal of the current alarming disease trends.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / genetics*
  • Aedes / microbiology*
  • Animals
  • Genetic Engineering
  • Mosquito Control*
  • Mosquito Vectors / genetics
  • Mosquito Vectors / microbiology
  • Virus Diseases / prevention & control