Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
actual product may differ from illustration

idea: add, search, annotate, link, view, overview, recent, by name, random

meta: news, help, about, links, report a problem

account: browse anonymously, or get an account and write.



GM Vaccinating Mosquitos

GMOs are good for you.
  (+9, -2)
(+9, -2)
  [vote for,

When a mosquito, horsefly or other biting insect bites, it first injects a quantity of saliva, which contains anticoagulants and other substances to increase the chances of it getting away with a good meal.

Suppose there is a disease for which the vaccine consists of a protein, rather than an attenuated or killed whole organism. It should be relatively feasible to arrange for a mosquito or other biting insect to contain such a protein in its saliva. If this is the case, it should be relatively trivial to remove any undesired proteins such as the aformentioned anticoagulants, and add another protein acting as an adjuvant if necessary, etc.

So then it would be possible to vaccinate against this disease using these medically produced mosquitos.

Why would this be an advantage over the traditional way using needles? It may well be safer, with less risk of contamination and causing less skin damage. Production may be cheaper, and easier to scale up. And it may be medically advantagous, if the protein needs to be post-translationally modified in a eukaryote. And after use the mosquitos can be easily euthanased, instead of costly disposal in a sharps bin.

Loris, Jun 25 2008

Prior art Mosquito-spread_20immunization
Mosquito-spread immunization (a rather different take) [Loris, Jun 25 2008]

Testing... testing... https://www.nih.gov...uito-vaccine-tested
Hmm... [RayfordSteele, May 22 2021]

Please log in.
If you're not logged in, you can see what this page looks like, but you will not be able to add anything.


       This, if I may say so (may I?) is a bloody good idea.   

       It could also be done on a mass scale, simply by breeding large enough numbers of the insects and releasing them. There would be issues over this, but also advantages - perhaps for immunizing animals that harbour zoonoses.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 25 2008

       Oh, and "euthanased" - Sp.: "squished".
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 25 2008

       Or for those with ethical scruples, use wasps, on the principle that it's good for you, but it still hurts ....
8th of 7, Jun 25 2008

       We humans never seem to get anything right the first time. (+) for innovative thinking, but I've got a bad feeling about this one.   

       I don't think you could remove the anticoagulants as it would make them fail to be able to eat, so you wouldn't have to squish them as they'd starve.   

       Could they be used to spread iodine?   

       Previous ideas have mentioned that you only need a tiny bit, maybe the skeeter spit would have enough.
MisterQED, Jun 25 2008

       I'll surely feel better when the ability to spread hordes of customizable mosquitos will be in the hands of humankind.
shitwolk, Jun 26 2008

       Brilliant idea. A lot of pathogenic bacteria, which are problems in developing countries, have pili that are recognizable by antibodies. You could modify the mosquito to secrete these into its saliva.   

       However, releasing large amounts of mosquitoes can spread other diseases for which there may be no cure. Plus there is no evolutionary pressure to retain the protein, so you would have to keep breeding them and releasing them.   

       I guess it's a trade off.
Cuit_au_Four, Jun 28 2008

       Slight ethical objection that you are doing this largely without the consent of the patient. But this never stopped them putting iodine in water so why not? Bun
Bad Jim, Jun 28 2008

       Finally, a way to make doctor’s visits fun! The patients would sit naked under a mosquito net while a horde of biting insects swarms around him. “Remain calm, we need 97 nice large bites for this one, with lots of ear and eyelid bites this time. Let’s give it half an hour. And no swatting.”
Amos Kito, Jun 28 2008

       ha ha.. interesting.. but playing around with nature is dangerous..
pravincar, Jun 29 2008

       I'm not suggesting releasing these mosquitos into the wild. If they didn't have anticoagulant in their saliva they probably wouldn't survive without mollycoddling anyway.   

       The aptly named Amos has it about right, although the biters would probably be contained in a small jar with a thin membrane lid, to be held against a suitable bodily area.   

       //ha ha.. interesting.. but playing around with nature is dangerous..//   

       Nature needs playing with at all times, just for human civilisation to exist.
Loris, Jun 29 2008

       // mollycoddling //   

       Interviewer: Now, let's see ... your former job was..... mosquito molycoddler ?   

       Applicant: Yes.   

       Interviewer: Ah. And what did that involve, exactly ?   

       Applicant: Well, basically, waiting hand and foot on a bunch of tiny, irritating bloodsucking insects.   

       Interviewer: And what made you consider a career change to being a legal secretary ?   



       // just for human civilisation to exist. //   

       You lot have got yourself a civilisation now ? Where ? Show !
8th of 7, Jun 29 2008

       ...so the third master steps forward, opens a matchbox and releases the mosquito.
Unsheathing his katana he traces a figure eight in the air and resheathes the weapon.

       The man looking for a bodyguard says, "What would I want him for? The first guy you showed me cut the mosquito in half and the next guy cut it in quarters, but this guy didn't even kill it!"   

       The old grandmaster says, "Ah but third mosquito never make babies again."   

       Two years before the Japanese, and eight years before me! Idea bumped for kudos.
Notes, Feb 07 2017

       Only just seen this. I can see how this works, but what happens if the same type of mosquito bites again after the immune system is wise to the protein? Do you get a HUGE golf ball sized lump as the immune system wades in to destroy everything and anything near the mosquito introduced protein? What happens if you're bitten 20 times?
bs0u0155, Feb 07 2017


back: main index

business  computer  culture  fashion  food  halfbakery  home  other  product  public  science  sport  vehicle