Target Malaria is a nonprofit research consortium working to develop gene drive technologies to control the mosquitoes that transmit malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. It is led by Austin Burt, a professor of evolutionary genetics at Imperial College London.

Activities

In July 2019, after obtaining approval from the National Biosafety Agency and the ethics committee of the Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé of Burkina Faso, Target Malaria released a strain of genetically modified (but non gene drive) sterile male mosquito in Bana, a town in the Balé province of that West African country.[3] Target Malaria has also research teams in Cape Verde, Ghana, Mali, and Uganda.

Evaluation

Target Malaria is primarily funded by Open Philanthropy and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[2][4] Open Philanthropy estimates that their grant to Target Malaria is competitive with donations to the Against Malaria Foundation.[5]

Further reading

Dunphy, Siobhán (2020) Interview with Professor Austin Burt: role of gene drive technology in the context of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy 2030, European Scientist, October 28.

North, Ace R., Austin Burt & H. Charles J. Godfray (2019) Modelling the potential of genetic control of malaria mosquitoes at national scale, BMC Biology, vol. 17, pp. 1–12.

Target Malaria. Official website.

gene drives | malaria

  1. ^

    Scudellari, Megan (2019) Self-destructing mosquitoes and sterilized rodents: the promise of gene drives, Nature, vol. 571, pp. 160–162.

  2. ^

    Open Philanthropy (2017) Target Malaria — gene drives for malaria control, Open Philanthropy, May.

  3. ^
  4. ^

    Burt, Austin (2021) 2021: progress during challenging times, Target Malaria's Blog, January 18.

  5. ^

    Open Philanthropy (2017) Rough Target Malaria cost-effectiveness calculation, Open Philanthropy.