Widespread release of spermless male mosquitoes may be an effective antimalaria strategy, report investigators in England and Italy (Thailayil J et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011;108:13677-13681).
The researchers developed spermless male Anopheles gambiae sensu stricto mosquitoes (the species that is the major malaria vector) by silencing the zpg germ cell differentiation gene. Females mated with such spermless males and underwent typical behavioral changes such as egg laying after consumption of a blood meal and an unwillingness to mate again, but the eggs were unfertilized and did not produce offspring. (After mating, females of this species tend to not mate again.)
Hampton T. Spermless Malaria Mosquitoes. JAMA. 2011;306(13):1431. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1390