Genetically modified mosquitos could be used to spread vaccine for malaria
A genetically engineered mosquito that vaccinates as it bites has been developed by scientists.
By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Published: 7:30AM GMT 19 Mar 2010
Scientists in Japan have engineered an insect producing a natural vaccine protein in its saliva which is injected into the bloodstream when it bites.
The "prototype" mosquito carries a vaccine against Leishmania, another potentially fatal parasite disease spread by sand flies.
Mice bitten by the vaccinating insect generated antibodies against the Leishmania organism, indicating immunisation.
"What's more, continuous exposure to bites will maintain high levels of protective immunity, through natural boosting, for a life time. So the insect shifts from being a pest to being beneficial."
Scientists are still working on developing an effective malaria vaccine, so Prof Yoshida's study was very much a "proof of concept".
O conceito é interessante, mas até que seja praticável, e admito que mesmo que o seja, o único mosquito bom é o mosquito morto - ou nem isso, pois o normal é já ter picado alguém, e nem sequer tem como desculpa ter polinizado alguma flor na vida.