Genetic modification offers opportunities to introduce artificially created molecular defence mechanisms to vector mosquitoes to counter diseases causing pathogens such as the dengue virus, malaria parasite, and Zika virus. RNA interference is such a molecular defence mechanism that could be used for this purpose to block the transmission of pathogens among human and animal populations. In our previous study, we engineered a dengue-resistant transgenic using RNAi to turn off the expression of dengue virus serotype genomes to reduce virus transmission, requiring assessment of the fitness of this mosquito with respect to its wild counterpart in the laboratory and semifield conditions.
Developmental and reproductive fitness parameters of TM and WM have assessed under the Arthropod Containment Level 2 conditions, and the antibiotic treatment assays were conducted using co-trimoxazole, amoxicillin, and doxycycline to assess the developmental and reproductive fitness parameters.
A significant reduction of developmental and reproductive fitness parameters was observed in transgenic mosquito compared to wild mosquitoes. However, it was seen in laboratory-scale studies that the fitness of this mosquito has improved significantly in the presence of antibiotics such as co-trimoxazole, amoxicillin, and doxycycline in their feed.
Our data indicate that the transgenic mosquito produced had a reduction of the fitness parameters and it may lead to a subsequent reduction of transgenic vector density over the generations in field applications. However, antibiotics of co-trimoxazole, amoxicillin, and doxycycline have shown the improvement of fitness parameters indicating the usefulness in field release of transgenic mosquitoes.

Copyright © 2021 Hewawasam Patuwatha Badathuruge Kalindu Dulanja Ramyasoma et al.