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Gene technology

Gene Technology in the Etiology of Drug-resistant Diseases

by Mae-Wan Ho, Terje Traavik, Orjan Olsvik, Tore Midtvedt, Beatrix Tappeser, C. Vyvyan Howard, Cristine von Weizsacker and George C. McGavin

A major world public health crisis is looming as outbreaks of new and re-emerging infectious diseases occur with increasing frequency, accompanied by the emergence of drug- and antibiotic-resistant pathogen strains.

Co-authored by several scientists, this study examines the possible connection between the worrying world health situation and the development of genetic engineering biotechnology. Genetic engineering, involving as it does artificially recombining and manipulating genes from unrelated species, facilitates horizontal gene transfer. It is such transfer and recombination events among bacteria and viruses which have generally been recognized to be responsible for the evolution of virulence and the spread of drug and antibiotic resistance.

The need for an enquiry into the possible contribution of genetic engineering biotechnology to the etiology of infectious diseases assumes greater urgency in the light of the inadequacy of present regulatory guidelines, the untested assumptions on which they are largely based having been invalidated by recent scientific findings. In addressing concerns which, if unattended to, could herald a global health disaster, this paper constitutes a timely contribution to the scientific inquiry and discussion of what is a highly important subject.

Size: 14.5 x 21 cm
No. of  pages:  112
ISBN No:  983-9747-35-5

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