Vector-based Control of Transmission: Discovery Research

This program supports research to develop new biologic and chemical strategies to control disease transmission by vector mosquitoes.

Overview

This program completed in June 2018.

The Vector-Based Control of Transmission: Discovery Research (VCTR) program supports innovative research on chemical and biologic approaches to control disease-transmitting mosquitoes and prevent the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Mosquitoes have been called “the deadliest animal in the world,” carrying diseases that kill an estimated 725,000 people every year. The worst of these diseases is malaria, which killed more than 400,000 people in 2013. More than 2.5 billion people live in areas where they risk being infected with the dengue virus. The VCTR program is an extension of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative and is managed by the FNIH in collaboration with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and numerous academic institutions in the United States and around the world. The project investigators conduct research to develop biocontrol agents to prevent transmission of infectious diseases by mosquito vectors. The VCTR program supports Target Malaria, which aims to reduce the population of malaria transmitting mosquitoes in Africa. The VCTR program has previously supported two projects characterizing the molecular components involved in the mosquito’s host seeking behaviors and identifying compounds that could interfere with such behavior.

Learn about the Problem Formulation for the use of Gene Drive in Mosquitoes Workshop held on May 25-27, 2016, in Reston, Virginia.

Read the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Malaria Strategy Overview.

Partners

Private-Sector Partners:

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation*
  • Vestaron Corporation

Academic Partners:

  • Colorado State University
  • Columbia University
  • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
  • Imperial College London
  • Monash University
  • Ohio State University
  • University of California, Irvine
  • University of Florida
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Queensland
  • Vanderbilt University

*Provided financial or in-kind support for this program.

FNIH Contact

  • Stephanie James, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Science, sjames@fnih.org

Goals

  • Develop new mosquito biocontrol methods using naturally occurring bacteria or genetic engineering.
  • Identify odorants that can prevent mosquitoes from biting humans.
  • Identify novel targets for new and more specific insecticides.

Results & Accomplishments

The program has resulted in development of two novel biocontrol technologies, on based on Wolbachia and the other on CRISPR-mediated gene drive.

Guidance Documents

Scientific Publications

Media