CRISPR gene drive comes ahead as a helping hand to eradicate malaria. Esvelt is the first person to formulate the CRISPR gene drive technology.

What is CRISPR gene drive technology?

CRISPR is an abbreviation for the Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. CRISPR gene drive technology represents an application meant for editing genes. This gene editing application represents the single and best chance to eliminate malaria.

If you look back at the statistics of the year 2015, around seven lakh and twenty thousand people lost their life due to the malarial parasites. Out of this count, seventy-two percent were kids below the age of five years. Approximate ninety percent deaths were from sub-Saharan Africa. In the majority of the cases, the people infected with malaria do not die but suffer from a painful and temporarily infection accompanied by disability. If we talk about the year 2015, nearly two hundred and twenty-two million people were infected with the malarial parasite. When compared to the per annum human population on the Earth, the infected people count corresponds to about three percent.

The malaria was endemic to France as it is today in the Mali region. Thanks to the CRISPR gene drive, we are one step closer to eradicate disease entirely from the global population and save a life.

The CRISPR gene drive allows the researchers to bring about a change in the genetic makeup of a species. It is possible through altering the DNA of few individuals. This DNA alteration will then cause the spread of the genetic modification in the entire human population.

While talking about malaria, the CRISPR gene drive is being planned to change three mosquito species which are the sole transmitters of malarial parasites. These three-mosquito species are inclusive of Anopheles gambiae, Anopheles coluzzii, and Anopheles arabiensis. After that, the change will result in the male progeny of these mosquitoes which will subsequently result in species extinction. Alternatively, a gene addition to these mosquito species may be planned to make them resistant to the malarial parasite. Such gene addition will terminate the further transmission of the malarial parasite to the humans and thereby prevent the onset of malaria.