Ifakara Masterclass Edition 18- There’s a Gene in my Mosquitoes: A MasterClass with Profs. Austin Burt, Tony Nolan & Abdoulaye Diabate.
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There’s a Gene in my Mosquitoes
The 18th edition of the masterclass hosted by Fredros Okumu from Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) and Sheila Ogoma from Clinton Health Access Initiative(CHAI) features Profs. Austin Burt, Tony Nolan & Abdoulaye Diabate.
In this edition of masterclass the discussion revolves around gene drives and how different are they compared to other genetic engineering approaches and what makes gene drives attractive for malaria control & elimination. Some evidences from labs & models are supplied to support the claim. Also, the experts talk about ways to build an efficient gene drive product for field use and the pathways for testing and deployment of gene drive mosquitoes for malaria control together with the main limitations & challenges of gene drive technologies. Also the possibility of a worst case scenario is discussed and if gene drives be contained or recalled. The panel is skeptical whether gene drives work in all major malaria vector species in Africa and discuss possibilities and limitations and key lessons from Target Malaria work and other initiatives in Africa. The regulation of gene drives (safety, ethics, biodiversity and public opinions) is also discussed together with ways to build capabilities and experiences relevant to possible gene drive deployment in Africa. Also importantly the views of and relevance of gene drives to experts in endemic countries is talked about.