Imperial College London

Professor George K. Christophides

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Life Sciences

Professor of Infectious Diseases & Immunity



+44 (0)20 7594 5342g.christophides




6167Sir Alexander Fleming BuildingSouth Kensington Campus






BibTex format

author = {Nash, A and Urdaneta, Mignini G and Beaghton, A and Hoermann, A and Papathanos, P and Christophides, G and Windbichler, N},
doi = {10.1242/bio.037762},
journal = {Biology Open},
title = {Integral Gene Drives for population replacement},
url = {},
volume = {8},
year = {2019}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - A first generation of CRISPR-based gene drives has now been tested in the laboratory in a number of organisms, including malaria vector mosquitoes. Challenges for their use in the area-wide genetic control of vector-borne disease have been identified, including the development of target site resistance, their long-term efficacy in the field, their molecular complexity, and practical and legal limitations for field testing of both gene drive and coupled anti-pathogen traits. We have evaluated theoretically the concept of integral gene drive (IGD) as an alternative paradigm for population replacement. IGDs incorporate a minimal set of molecular components, including drive and anti-pathogen effector elements directly embedded within endogenous genes – an arrangement that in theory allows targeting functionally conserved coding sequences without disrupting their function. Autonomous and non-autonomous IGD strains could be generated, optimized, regulated and imported independently. We performed quantitative modeling comparing IGDs with classical replacement drives and show that selection for the function of the hijacked host gene can significantly reduce the establishment of resistant alleles in the population, while drive occurring at multiple genomic loci prolongs the duration of transmission blockage in the face of pre-existing target site variation. IGD thus has potential as a more durable and flexible population replacement strategy.
AU - Nash,A
AU - Urdaneta,Mignini G
AU - Beaghton,A
AU - Hoermann,A
AU - Papathanos,P
AU - Christophides,G
AU - Windbichler,N
DO - 10.1242/bio.037762
PY - 2019///
SN - 2046-6390
TI - Integral Gene Drives for population replacement
T2 - Biology Open
UR -
UR -
VL - 8
ER -