Genetic control of vectors

Abstract : In a context of tighter regulations on approved insecticide molecules, the spread of insecticide resistance in insect vectors of human and animal diseases and the introduction of exotic vectors to new territories call for the development of new pest control methods and strategies. New genetic control methods, related to the ancestral sterile insect technique (SIT), show particular promise and are being developed in response to increasing health and agricultural challenges. These include the use of symbionts like Wolbachia and the use of transgenic insect strains, some of which incorporate gene editing techniques that can lead to transgene spread (gene drive). Here we present the principles, associated opportunities and risks, as well as the degree of advancement of these various techniques for a subset of livestock pests and disease vectors including screwworms, tsetse, mosquitoes and stomoxes. We then present some case studies on recent improvements in the use of the SIT in tsetse and the release of insects carrying a dominant lethal gene, symbiont-based approaches and gene drive in mosquitoes. Finally, we call to speed up the development of genetic control, within a rigorous benefit-risk analysis framework including international public consultation.
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Jérémy Bouyer, Eric Marois. Genetic control of vectors. Claire Garros, Jérémy Bouyer, Willem Takken and Renate C. Smallegange. Pests and vector-borne diseases in the livestock industry, 5, Wageningen Academic Publishers, pp.435-451, 2018, Ecology and Control of Vector-borne diseases, 978-90-8686-315-0. ⟨10.3920/978-90-8686-863-6_14⟩. ⟨cirad-01877558⟩

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