Malaria still kills one child every two minutes and it is estimated to cost the African economy more than US$12 billion every year (Target Malaria 2016). Current control methods such as insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor spraying of insecticides, and artemisinin-based drug treatments have saved millions of lives. However, insufficient resources, emerging insecticide resistance among mosquitoes, and challenging distribution conditions limit their ability to end malaria alone.

Scientists are studying complementary tools to fight this vector-borne disease. These include genetically modified mosquitoes, a technology still under development. Before releasing any modified mosquitoes, it is necessary to understand their potential impact on the environment, the conditions that can affect their spread and the gene drive mechanism.