Researchers hailed the recent sequencing of the genomes of the malaria
parasite and the Anopheles mosquito vector that transmits
the infection as advances that would foster new approaches to combat the disease.
One such approach under study involves genetically modifying the mosquito
so that it is no longer able to transmit the disease, then releasing the altered
mosquitoes to breed in the wild and spread the antimalarial genes.
Now, researchers from England and Italy found in laboratory studies
that mosquitoes that were modified with marker genes (to allow scientists
to track them) competed poorly with their wild counterparts and the introduced
genes disappeared within just 16 generations (Science.
Stephenson J. The Danger Within or Without?. JAMA. 2003;289(10):1234. doi:10.1001/jama.289.10.1234-a