“Gene Change in Malaria Mosquito: The Diabate Method Recognized With The 2023 Falling Walls Prize for Science and Innovation Management”

In the relentless battle against malaria and the malaria mosquito, Prof. Abdoulaye Diabate emerges as a beacon of hope. Having survived the deadly disease himself, Diabate is pioneering revolutionary gene drive technology to combat malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Let’s delve into this transformative approach and its potential to reshape the landscape of malaria control.


Prof. Abdoulaye Diabaté’s Childhood Struggle:

Abdoulaye Diabate’s journey began with a life-threatening bout of malaria at the tender age of five. Miraculously surviving while losing close relatives underscored the urgency to address this pervasive issue.

Prof. Abdoulaye Diabaté

malaria mosquito

Target Malaria Burkina Faso’s Principal Investigator

Professor Abdoulaye Diabaté is Head of Medical Entomology and Parasitology at the Research Institute in Health Sciences (Institut de Recherche en Science de la Santé (IRSS) /Centre Muraz) in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso and the Principal Investigator of Target Malaria Burkina Faso.

Overcoming Personal Tragedy

Diabate’s personal experience fuels his dedication to eradicating malaria mosquito, emphasizing the human toll and the need for innovative solutions.

malaria mosquito

A Visionary Scientist:

Now at the helm of medical entomology and parasitology at Burkina Faso’s Research Institute, Diabate’s groundbreaking technique is garnering global attention.


Recognition of Excellence

malaria mosquito

The 2023 Falling Walls Prize for Science and Innovation Management acknowledges Diabate’s impactful research, offering a ray of hope for malaria control worldwide.


Malaria’s Grim Toll:

In Burkina Faso, malaria is not just a health crisis but a leading cause of death, especially among children. The numbers paint a grim picture, with nearly 19,000 lives lost in 2021 alone.

Target Malaria Burkina Faso is based at the regional directorate of the Institute for Research in Health Sciences (IRSS) in Bobo-Dioulasso. It is supported by a dynamic and competent team, made up of biomedical entomologists, molecular biologists and microbiologists, socio-anthropologists, specialists in stakeholder engagement and communication, quality assurance and specialist insectary staff. The team are led by the Principal Investigator, who is supported by a co-PI and project manager. Researchers working on the project also act as mentors for PhD and Master’s students from Burkina Faso and other African countries.

Alarming Statistics Of Malaria Mosquito

Explore the staggering impact of malaria on Burkina Faso and the broader African region, shouldering the world’s largest malaria burden.

Despite challenges, Diabate remains optimistic, envisioning his gene drive technology as a game-changer in malaria control.

Understand the mechanics of Diabate’s vector control tool, disrupting malaria transmission by altering the genes of female mosquito species.

Sustainable and Budget-Friendly Intervention:

Diabate asserts that gene drive technology offers a more sustainable and budget-friendly solution compared to traditional interventions.

A Paradigm Shift

malaria mosquito

Explore and embrace the potential impact of genetically modified malaria mosquitoes as efficient agents in malaria control, eliminating the need for human-intensive interventions along with the transformative potential of genetically modified mosquitoes as efficient tools for malaria control, offering a promising alternative to labor-intensive interventions.

According to Diabate, the innovative vector control tool for malaria, known as ‚Äúgene drive technology,‚ÄĚ could prove to be a pivotal solution upon implementation. Malaria spreads through bites from female Anopheles mosquitoes carrying the parasitic disease, as males do not transmit malaria.

With gene drive technology, the reproduction of female mosquitoes responsible for disease transmission is curtailed by introducing gene-edited sterile males into the environment. Diabate envisions a significant reduction in the female mosquito population, ultimately leading to the cessation of malaria transmission.

Upon release into the field, these gene-edited mosquitoes are expected to proliferate throughout the mosquito population rapidly, resulting in an immediate reduction in malaria transmission. Diabate emphasizes the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of gene drive technology compared to other labor-intensive malaria control interventions.

In contrast to conventional methods that rely on human efforts traversing various locations, genetically modified mosquitoes offer a self-sustaining approach to curbing malaria transmission.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q: How does Malaria Mosquito gene drive technology work?

A: Gene drive technology involves releasing gene-edited, sterile male mosquitoes into the environment, preventing female mosquito species from producing new female offspring, ultimately depleting the female mosquito population and halting malaria transmission.


Q: Why is gene drive considered a game-changer?

A: Gene drive technology offers a more sustainable and budget-friendly approach to malaria control, relying on genetically modified mosquitoes to efficiently disrupt transmission, contrasting with labor-intensive interventions.


Q: What distinguishes Diabate’s approach from traditional interventions?

A: Unlike conventional methods where humans traverse locations for delivery, Diabate’s gene drive technology utilizes genetically modified mosquitoes as effective agents, minimizing human involvement.


Q: What is the significance of the Falling Walls Prize for Diabate’s research?

A: The Falling Walls Prize recognizes Diabate’s excellence in science and innovation management, providing hope for the future of malaria control through groundbreaking research.


Q: Why is malaria still a significant issue in Burkina Faso?

A: Rising cases of malaria in Burkina Faso are attributed to increased costs of interventions and biological threats, fostering drug resistance and aiding mosquitoes in developing immunity to insecticides.


Q: How does Diabate’s personal experience influence his work?

A: Diabate’s childhood struggle with malaria fuels his dedication to finding innovative solutions, emphasizing the human toll and urgency to address this pervasive issue.


Abdoulaye Diabate’s relentless pursuit of a malaria-free future exemplifies the power of science and innovation. His gene drive technology presents a paradigm shift, offering a sustainable and effective solution to combat malaria globally.

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