The scientists tagged the gene with a fluorescent marker to ensure it had been inserted.
The researchers, from the University of Arizona, introduced a gene that affected the insect’s gut, meaning the malaria parasite could not develop.
They report the advance, which also reduced the insects’ lifespan, in the journal PLoS Pathogens.
They say that the ultimate goal is to introduce malaria-resistant mosquitoes into the environment…
“Before we do this, we have to somehow give the mosquitoes a competitive advantage over the disease-carrying insects,” explained Professor Michael Riehle from the University of Arizona a principle investigator on the project.
In the study the researchers altered a gene that codes for a “signalling molecule”.
This molecule, a protein, enables the mosquito’s cells to communicate with each other, and is crucial for parasite development inside the mosquito.