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Genetic Modification of Mosquitoes: Prevention The Spread of Different Diseases

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The deadliest executioner in mankind’s set of experiences probably won’t be firearms or bombs, cancer or fender benders. It’s a bothersome bug that the greater part of us don’t mull over: the mosquito. Mosquitoes are probably the most dangerous animals on earth. They convey infections, microorganisms and parasites, which they transmit through bites, Infecting somewhere in the range of 700 million individuals and killing more than 1 million each year. With worldwide travel, migration and environmental change, these infections are no longer restricted to tropical and subtropical growing countries. Currently, control of these diseases is mostly limited to broad-spectrum insecticide sprays, which can harm both humans and non-target animals and insects. Consider the possibility that there was an approach to control these staggering diseases without the ecological issues of boundless insecticide use. Genetically modifying mosquitoes to prevent disease may sound like science fiction, but the technology has advanced in recent years to the point where this is no longer a scenario relegated to late-night movies. In fact, it’s not even a new idea; scientists were talking about modifying insect populations to control diseases as early as the 1940s. Today, genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes, developed during the past several decades of research in university laboratories, are being used to combat mosquito-borne pathogens.

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Mosquito-borne diseases are those spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. The main Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria. The Zika Virus for most folks, the symptoms from this virus are mild: just a fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The genuine threat might be to pregnant women and their babies. It’s linked to a birth defect called microcephaly, which causes small heads and brain damage. Mosquitoes spread this disease in numerous parts of the world including Brazil and other countries in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. The Dengue Virus is uncommon in the U.S., yet it appears in mainstream tourist spots, like Puerto Rico, the Pacific islands, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. At the point when you get it, you could get issues like rash, fever, migraine, simple bruising, and bleeding gums. Sometimes it prompts haemorrhagic fever, which can be deadly. The only vaccine approved by the FDA is for use in kids matured 9-16 who previously had been contaminated by one of the four dengue infections to help forestall getting the illness again from one of the other viruses. The West Nile Virus, If you get a bite from a mosquito that is conveying this infection, you most likely will not have any side effects. A few people, however, get fever, joint agony, diarrhoea, vomiting or a rash. You need to look out for uncommon complications, similar to the brain infections called encephalitis or meningitis. There’s no immunization for the illness, which appears in each state with the exception of Alaska and Hawaii. Chikungunya , The name comes from an African language and alludes to the stooped appearance individuals may have in light of serious joint agony. You may likewise get a rash, headache, nausea, and weariness. The infection is found in Asia and India, and it’s begun to move into Europe and the America. There’s no cure, yet a great many people recover. In some cases, symptoms can last months or years. Malaria ,It barely occurs in the U.S., however almost a large portion of the total population lives in danger of coming down with this illness. , Most cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, but transmission occurs also in South America, South Asia and numerous other regions. The symptoms include fever, headache, chills, and vomiting. In the event that you travel to a country where it’s a problem, rest under a net that is treated with insecticide, and take anti-malaria drugs. Yellow Fever, La Crosse Encephalitis, rift Valley Fever, Jamestown canyon virus, Snowshoe Hare virus are a portion of different illnesses spread by mosquitoes.

The main question is “Should we eradicate mosquitoes completely?” There’s certainly a moral argument to be made that they devastate human populations and we should try to eradicate the diseases. Biologically, there’s an argument one way, but morally, there’s an argument the other way. This is something that scientists and biologists have been thinking about. To use the Star Wars analogy, there’s a balance to the Force. And when there’s a disturbance in the Force, things go awry. To upset that balance by intruding on natural selection to eliminate all mosquitoes is not what anyone’s promoting, since there are 3,500 mosquito species and very few transmit diseases perhaps the eradication of those that transmit diseases is extreme. Still, a lot of scientists are researching ways in which they can alter the DNA of mosquitoes by making them incapable of carrying diseases, but not harming the mosquitoes themselves.

Mosquito control will be divided into two areas of responsibility: individual and public. Mosquito control is divided into two areas of responsibility: individual and public. most frequently it’s performed following the Integrated Mosquito Management (IMM) concept. IMM is predicated on ecological, economic and social criteria and integrates multidisciplinary methodologies into pest management strategies that are practical and effective to shield public health and also the environment and improve the standard of life. IMM strategies are employed together with insecticide. These include source reduction, which contains physical control (digging ditches and ponds within the target marsh) and biological control [placing live mosquito fish (Gambusia) within the ditches and ponds to eat mosquito larvae]. Other non-chemical control methods include invertebrate predators, parasites and diseases to manage mosquito larvae. Adult mosquito biological control by means of birds, bats, dragonflies and frogs has been employed by various agencies. However, supportive data is anecdotal and there’s no documented study to point out that bats, purple martins, or other predators consume enough adult mosquitoes to be effective control agents. Pesticides is also applied to regulate larvae (larvicides) or adults (adulticides). Applications of adulticides or larvicides are made after the presence of mosquitoes has been demonstrated by surveillance procedures. Application is formed by prescribed standards. All insecticides must have the name and amount of active ingredient (AI) appearing on the label; examples are DEET and pyrethroids. No pesticide is one 100% safe and care must be exercised within the use of any pesticide. Larval control, An efficient thanks to control mosquitoes is to seek out and eliminate their larval habitat. Eliminating large larval development sites (source reduction) like swamps or sluggishly moving streams or ditches may require community-wide effort. this is often usually a task for your organized mosquito control program. they could impound a region of water, establish ditches or canals or control the aquatic weeds (cattails, Pistia stratiotes, etc) on a body of water. The second method employed by organized mosquito control agencies is larviciding. This utilizes the appliance of insecticides targeted at the immature mosquitoes – the larvae or pupae. Adult control ,there are two sorts of ways, Mosquito Traps and Space sprays. Insect electrocutions (bug zappers) and mosquito trapping devices are 20th century control measures. Manufacturers modernized 19th century mosquito trapping devices like the New Jersey light trap with more ‘bells and whistles’ to boost their appeal to the general public. Insect electrocuter light traps are extensively marketed for the past several years claiming they’ll provide relief from the biting mosquitoes and other pests in your back yard. Mosquitoes accustomed be killed inside the house by employing a flit gun. Household aerosol space sprays containing synergized pyrethrum or synthetic pyrethroids (allethrin, resmethrin, etc.) are available now. The key advantage of space treatment is immediate knockdown, quick application, and comparatively small amounts of materials required for treatment. Space sprays are best indoors. Outdoors, the insecticide particles disperse rapidly and should not kill many mosquitoes. the most important disadvantage of space spraying is that it’ll not manage insects for long periods of your time. GM mosquitoes are fruitful in diminishing mosquito populations, and lessening disease spread. There are two general ways to cope with genetically modified mosquitoes:

  1. modifying the reproductive ability of male mosquitoes in order that they can not produce offspring,
  2. altering both male and feminine mosquitoes in order that they are impervious to diseases or incapable of transmitting them to other species.

The primary approach to GM mosquito was released in field trials in parts of Brazil, the Cayman Islands, and Malaysia. These male mosquitoes’ mate with a female, exchanging a mutation that causes the larvae to die unless they’re given an antibiotic. These trials have shown to cut back mosquito populations from 80-95%, reducing dandy fever cases by 91%. The genetic approach to render insects infertile or proof against disease is predicated on the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). SIT was developed within the 1930s as the simplest way to cut back insect populations. The technique renders male insects sterile by exposing them to extremely high levels of radiation, before releasing them to mate with females. The technique has great success, eradicating multiple pest species like the screwworm within the 1950s and reducing Gelechia gossypiella moth populations in California beginning in 1967.

Gene editing may push a species of malaria-carrying mosquito to extinction. These new results come from a small-scale laboratory study. Researchers used a biotechnology tool to create changes to species called Anopheles gambiae. As a result, the mosquitoes stopped producing offspring in eight to 12 generations. The researchers changed the mosquitoes’ genes with a gene drive. Gene drives use the molecular “scissors” noted as CRISPRCas9 to repeat and paste themselves into an organism’s DNA at precise locations. They’re designed to interrupt the foundations of inheritance. they’ll quickly spread a genetic tweak to any or all offspring. The new gene drive breaks a mosquito gene called double sex. Female mosquitoes that inherit two copies of the broken gene develop like males. they’re unable to bite or lay eggs. Being unable to bite means they can’t spread the sporozoan. Males and females that inherit only 1 copy of the disrupted gene develop normally and are fertile. Males don’t bite, whether or not they need the gene drive or not.

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In conclusion, the fight against mosquitoes has been waging since the dawn of humankind. Through the centuries, humans have fought back against this scourge in one way or another. Some solutions have proven to be highly effective at combatting mosquitoes, and others simply do not work. Regardless, scientists continue to develop new ways to get rid of mosquitoes, and one the most recent is the development of GM mosquitoes. Should mosquitoes be genetically modified to save humanity from the diseases that they transmit? Yes, this solution offers an environmentally friendly way to remove an invasive mosquito species.


  1. Rasgon, J., 2021. Genetically modified mosquitoes may be best weapon for curbing disease transmission. [online]
  2. Ratini, M., 2021. Diseases Spread by Mosquitoes. [online]
  3. Reese, H., 2021. Mosquitoes might be humanity’s greatest foe. Should we get rid of them?. [online]
  4. Westreich, L., 2021. [online]
  5. Kofler, N., 2021. Genetically modifying mosquitoes to control the spread of disease carries unknown risks. [online]
  6. Hesman Saey, T., 2021. Gene editing wiped out a population of mosquitoes in lab tests. [online]
  7. Mosquito Magnet. 2021. Pros and Cons of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes. [online]

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