Field evaluation of the establishment potential of wMelPop Wolbachia in Australia and Vietnam for dengue control

Nguyen, Tran Hien, Nguyen, H. Le, Nguyen, Thu Yen, Vu, Sinh Nam, Tran, Nhu Duong, Le, T.N., Vien, Quang Mai, Bui, T.C., Le, Huu Tho, Kutcher, Simon, Hurst, Tim P., Duong, T.T.H., Jeffery, Jason A.L., Darbro, Jonathan M., Kay, B.H., Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñaki, Popovici, Jean, Montgomery, Brian L., Turley, Andrew P., Zigterman, Flora, Cook, Helen, Cook, Peter E., Johnson, Petrina H., Ryan, Peter A., Paton, Chris J., Ritchie, Scott A., Simmons, Cameron P., O’Neill, Scott L., and Hoffmann, Ary A. (2015) Field evaluation of the establishment potential of wMelPop Wolbachia in Australia and Vietnam for dengue control. Parasites & Vectors, 8 (563). pp. 1-14.

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Abstract

Background: Introduced Wolbachia bacteria can influence the susceptibility of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to arboviral infections as well as having detrimental effects on host fitness. Previous field trials demonstrated that the wMel strain of Wolbachia effectively and durably invades Ae. aegypti populations. Here we report on trials of a second strain, wMelPop-PGYP Wolbachia, in field sites in northern Australia (Machans Beach and Babinda) and central Vietnam (Tri Nguyen, Hon Mieu Island), each with contrasting natural Ae. aegypti densities.

Methods: Mosquitoes were released at the adult or pupal stages for different lengths of time at the sites depending on changes in Wolbachia frequency as assessed through PCR assays of material collected through Biogents-Sentinel (BG-S) traps and ovitraps. Adult numbers were also monitored through BG-S traps. Changes in Wolbachia frequency were compared across hamlets or house blocks.

Results: Releases of adult wMelPop-Ae. aegypti resulted in the transient invasion of wMelPop in all three field sites. Invasion at the Australian sites was heterogeneous, reflecting a slower rate of invasion in locations where background mosquito numbers were high. In contrast, invasion across Tri Nguyen was relatively uniform. After cessation of releases, the frequency of wMelPop declined in all sites, most rapidly in Babinda and Tri Nguyen. Within Machans Beach the rate of decrease varied among areas, and wMelPop was detected for several months in an area with a relatively low mosquito density.

Conclusions: These findings highlight challenges associated with releasing Wolbachia-Ae. aegypti combinations with low fitness, albeit strong virus interference properties, as a means of sustainable control of dengue virus transmission.

Item ID: 42670
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1756-3305
Keywords: Wolbachia; Dengue; Release; Aedes; Fitness; Invasion
Funders: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
Projects and Grants: BMGF Grand Challenges Exploration Health Initiative
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2016 03:42
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 100%
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