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Daniel P. Haeusser

I am somewhat wary of strategies like this in releasing genetically modified organisms into the wild to control another population. In this case, the Pantoea is not just a symbiont of the mosquito, but also has parasitic/symbiotic interactions with other organisms too - not even just insects. Is anything known I wonder regarding possible transfer of the bacteria between species? Although the toxins introduced into the bacteria are designed to be anti-Plasmodial and researchers may also check for any possible effects on the mosquito, could these toxins then also get into other organisms where they would have side effects - or affect other more benign protists. Nonetheless this is indeed an ingenious approach worth fully considering, but as I read this these sorts of questions popped up. Are these types of concerns justified, or beyond likelihood?

Marvin replies:

Your concerns about using these genetically engineered micrioorganisms may or may not be well-founded as there is not sufficient data available to answer such important environmental issues.

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