The primary goal of UCIMI is to achieve local elimination of malaria caused by P. falciparum transmitted by An. gambiae in a well-chosen field site.

The proposed trial is based on a phased approach outlined in WHO guidelines (WHO 2014) and contains specific ‘go/no-go’ evaluation points and milestones.

The overall timetable for this effort is to produce a field-ready alteration gene-drive strain (year one); test it in the laboratory population cages (year 2), and if required, in enclosed outdoor spaces containing the mosquito vector in a more natural setting (year 3). Finally, pending community and regulatory approval, to release the alteration-drive mosquitoes into the environment and follow the course of transgene spread and parasite reduction over the course of two consecutive seasons (years 4 and 5).

Once this objective is met, mosquitoes carrying the validated alteration-drive could be scaled to a capacity appropriate for use in conjunction with current anti-malarial strategies to eliminate malaria regionally and ultimately throughout Africa.