Proceedings of an expert workshop on community agreement for gene drive research in Africa - Co-organised by KEMRI, PAMCA and Target Malaria.
Thizy D., Pare Toe L., Mbogo C., Matoke-Muhia D., Alibu VP., Barnhill-Dilling SK., Chantler T., Chongwe G., Delborne J., Kapiriri L., Nassonko Kavuma E., Koloi-Keaikitse S., Kormos A., Littler K., Lwetoijera D., Vargas de Moraes R., Mumba N., Mutengu L., Mwichuli S., Nabukenya SE., Nakigudde J., Ndebele P., Ngara C., Ochomo E., Odiwuor Ondiek S., Rivera S., Roberts AJ., Robinson B., Sambakunsi R., Saxena A., Sykes N., Tarimo BB., Tiffin N., Tountas KH.
Gene drive research is progressing towards future field evaluation of modified mosquitoes for malaria control in sub-Saharan Africa. While many literature sources and guidance point to the inadequacy of individual informed consent for any genetically modified mosquito release, including gene drive ones, (outside of epidemiological studies that might require blood samples) and at the need for a community-level decision, researchers often find themselves with no specific guidance on how that decision should be made, expressed and by whom. Target Malaria, the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Pan African Mosquito Control Association co-organised a workshop with researchers and practitioners on this topic to question the model proposed by Target Malaria in its research so far that involved the release of genetically modified sterile male mosquitoes and how this could be adapted to future studies involving gene drive mosquito releases for them to offer reflections about potential best practices. This paper shares the outcomes of that workshop and highlights the remaining topics for discussion before a comprehensive model can be designed.