The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently released the updated version of the Guidance Framework for Testing of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes, including those incorporating gene drive. The publication intends to inform future research and development on genetically modified mosquitoes, describing best practices to ensure that the study and evaluation of genetically modified mosquitoes as public health tools is safe, ethical and rigorous.
According to Dr Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist, genetically modified mosquitoes have raised hopes for the availability of new, potent and cost-effective tools to fight vector-borne diseases. He also emphasised the need to conduct careful and rigorous testing, including under natural conditions, to ensure that genetically modified mosquitoes are effective and safe.
The guide was developed in partnership with TDR (the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases) and the GeneConvene Global Collaborative, an initiative of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.