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March 2, 2011

Biosafety Concerns Involving Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Combat Malaria and Dengue in Developing Countries

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Microbiology and Immunology (Dr Ostera) and O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law (Mr Gostin), Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

JAMA. 2011;305(9):930-931. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.246

Throughout history, mosquitoes have been disease vectors in human settlements in every region. Today, mosquito-transmitted diseases are present mainly in the equatorial belt, posing major risks to half the world's population and causing disease in 700 million individuals annually. Malaria and dengue are the most prevalent mosquito-borne infections, but West Nile virus in the Americas and chikungunya and Japanese encephalitis in Asia and Oceania are rapidly emerging.1 Typical areas and conditions for transmission are increasing, attributable to global climatic changes as well as wider dissemination of virulent viral strains.1,2