Engineering Mosquitoes into Flying Vaccinators

Van Mensvoort
March 21st 2010

Scientists have developed a mosquito that spreads vaccine instead of disease. The researchers, led by molecular geneticist Shigeto Yoshida of Jichi Medical University in Tochigi Japan, transformed mosquitoes into vaccine-carrying syringes by genetically engineering the insects to express the vaccine for leishmaniasis – a parasitic disease transmitted by the sandfly – in their saliva. According to their article in Insect Molecular Biology, mice bitten by these mosquitoes produced antibodies against the parasite.

"Following bites, protective immune responses are induced, just like a conventional vaccination but with no pain and no cost," said lead researcher Shigeto Yoshida in a press release from the journal. "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."

It's still unclear whether the immune response was strong enough to protect against infection. The project is considered more of a proof of principle experiment than a viable public health option, at least for now.

Via Techreview, via ScienceNow.

Share your thoughts and join the technology debate!public: 1


Posted 20/04/2010 – 07:37

Who wants to be vaccinated anyway? This is just another gross misuse of nature waiting to happen. I like the idea of being healthy, but I've never liked the idea of drug companies making money off of the populous being unhealthy. Besides, isn't that what my immune system is for anyway. Weapons or immunizations, I'd rather not have either.

Ingrid Zeegers (writer/journal
Posted 22/03/2010 – 15:43

We still live in a world of polarity: good-bad, women-man. So, if mosquito's are manipulated to cary vaccin's, they'll also be used to cary wapons. That's for sure.
Now here's the good news: mankind has recently reached a new level of consiousness.
If we operate in alignment with our hearts, we add a third layer and we create a powerfull positive hologram. So what does this mean for all future new techniques?
The spirit of our planet will only allow new techniques to be downloaded into our brains if they are in perfect alignment with our hearts and with the love for the earth. Let there be ligth!

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