Transgenic Metarhizium rapidly kills mosquitoes in a malaria-endemic region of Burkina Faso

Science. 2019 May 31;364(6443):894-897. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw8737.


Malaria control efforts require implementation of new technologies that manage insecticide resistance. Metarhizium pingshaense provides an effective, mosquito-specific delivery system for potent insect-selective toxins. A semifield trial in a MosquitoSphere (a contained, near-natural environment) in Soumousso, a region of Burkina Faso where malaria is endemic, confirmed that the expression of an insect-specific toxin (Hybrid) increased fungal lethality and the likelihood that insecticide-resistant mosquitoes would be eliminated from a site. Also, as Hybrid-expressing M. pingshaense is effective at very low spore doses, its efficacy lasted longer than that of the unmodified Metarhizium Deployment of transgenic Metarhizium against mosquitoes could (subject to appropriate registration) be rapid, with products that could synergistically integrate with existing chemical control strategies to avert insecticide resistance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified / genetics
  • Burkina Faso / epidemiology
  • Culicidae / microbiology*
  • Insecticide Resistance
  • Malaria / prevention & control*
  • Metarhizium / genetics*
  • Mosquito Control / methods*
  • Spider Venoms / genetics*
  • Transgenes


  • Spider Venoms