Hello, my name is Gregory Lanzaro.
I'm a professor in the department of pathology and microbiology and
immunology in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.
My background is in insect population genetics,
and I'll be discussing ecological considerations for
the application of Gene Drive technology using as an example,
its proposed application toward the elimination of Malaria in Africa.
This example is one of the earliest proposed applications of Gene Drive.
First laid out in a contemporary sense by Dr. Austin Burt back in 2003.
Human Malaria is a blood disease caused by protozoan parasites in
the genus Plasmodium and transmitted by the bite of Anopheles mosquitoes.
In the left panel of the slide,
is an illustration of Anopheles gambiae,
one of the principal Malaria vectors in sub-Saharan Africa.
In the right panel, is an illustration of
the human stage of the Malaria parasite lifecycle.
After injection via the bite of an infected mosquito,
the parasite establishes a non-symptomatic infection in the liver.
Following several cycles of replication,
parasites are introduced into the circulating bloodstream where they
infect and destroy red blood cells resulting in disease.
Malaria is distributed across the world as illustrated on the map.
Malaria ranks in terms of morbidity and mortality,
among the most important infectious diseases of man.
Fifty percent of the world's population is at risk of infection.
There are 200 to 300 million cases annually,
resulting in roughly half a million deaths.
Eighty-five percent of these in
sub-Saharan Africa mostly in children under five and pregnant women.