New genetically modified mosquitoes to help fight malaria

By Daudi Zirimala

Scientists at Uganda Virus research Institute (UVRI) have started breeding mosquitoes under the new project Dubbed, "Target Malaria" focused on developing methods to control the population of malaria transmitting mosquitoes.

According to Dr. Jonathan Kayondo, the principal investigator of the Target Malaria project, the genetically modified mosquitoes do not transmit malaria parasites when they bite. These are made infertile so that when they cross breed with the female anopheles mosquito, they are not able to reproduce.

He says with this new research project, they are complimenting the already existing malaria control methods such as insecticides treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying and drugs but there is need to get additional tools to help eradicate the disease.