About this Research Topic
Vector borne diseases are responsible for over 700,000 deaths annually, imposing a severe socioeconomic and public health burden. Conventional vector control can reduce disease transmission, though additional novel strategies are needed for elimination.
Recent advances in genome editing, such as CRISPR-Cas9, have accelerated developments in genetic vector control strategies. Synthetic genetic elements that bias their own inheritance (“gene drive”) and disrupt the vector’s life cycle or its ability to transmit disease have been developed in malaria and dengue vectors. Researchers are now evaluating the potential for future small-scale field releases.
Meanwhile, low-cost sequencing has facilitated widespread genomic vector population surveillance and genotyping for identification of insecticide resistance loci is increasingly routine. The recent establishment of sequencing centers in endemic countries may also allow more comprehensive monitoring of vector populations.
Genetic surveillance and control have seen a large number of theoretical or lab-based studies in recent years and are nearing the point where they will be applied in the field. As the field moves from theoretical to translational goals, the types of challenges are likely to change dramatically. The goal of this Research Topic is to illustrate the advancements in genetic surveillance and control of vector-borne disease and to take a forward-looking view on their application in real-world settings. In addition, this article collection also aims to explore findings from other fields, such as vector control using self-sustaining bacteria such as Wolbachia, or high-throughput molecular surveillance efforts that would be informative for upcoming genetic surveillance and control programs.
Research papers are welcome that include all aspects of vector-focused genetic control or surveillance. Topics of interest include but are not limited to:
• Theoretical, laboratory, or field-based studies relating to the use of genetic control, including gene drives
• Genetic surveillance of vector populations
• Insecticide resistance studies in endemic countries
• The use of genetic data in national-level disease control programs and stakeholder engagement relating to vector control
We also welcome relevant work in other models and systems that are set within the broader context of population monitoring and control, such as biological control and genetic surveillance of wild populations, which could inform vector control in the coming years.
Keywords: Vector borne diseases, mosquitoes, genetic control, sequencing, genetic surveillance
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.