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Title: Evaluation of transgenic insects for use in the control of insect-borne disease
Author: Winskill, Peter
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 0486
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2015
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The burden of many vector-borne diseases remains high and for some, such as dengue fever, continues to rise. It is estimated that up to half of the global population is at risk from dengue. Treatment of dengue fever is currently limited to case management and there are, at present, no licensed vaccines available. As a result, the front-line defence against dengue fever remains vector control. Modern approaches to vector control are attempting to push forward new techniques to target the mosquito vectors of dengue. One such technique is the release of transgenic insects that are genetically sterile due to a conditional dominant lethal gene. This modern adaptation of the traditional sterile insect technique is at the forefront of current new vector control solutions. The success of a vector control effort using releases of transgenic insects relies on the technology being efficacious as well as effective in the field. To ensure the effectiveness of field-released sterile insects a deep knowledge of the mosquito biology and ecology must be combined with site-specific, logistical and cost considerations. In order to maximise the potential of this technology the field releases of these insects must be optimised. This work includes a specific focus on the exploration of the dynamics of releasing different life stages, investigations into the biology and ecology of the released insects and the development of applied methodology relating to the release and monitoring of transgenic insects. Novel vector control techniques, such as the use of transgenic insects, have an important role to play in addressing the emergence and spread of dengue fever. In order to utilise these technologies to their full potential they must be optimised to maximise their effectiveness. In this thesis I present work towards this optimisation.
Supervisor: Donnelly, Christl ; Alphey, Luke Sponsor: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ; Oxitec Ltd
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral