Send to

Choose Destination
J Invertebr Pathol. 2003 Sep;84(1):24-9.

The potential of virulent Wolbachia to modulate disease transmission by insects.

Author information

Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, 60 College St., New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


A virulent strain of Wolbachia has recently been identified in Drosophila that drastically reduces adult lifespan. It has been proposed that this phenotype might be introduced into insect disease vector populations to reduce pathogen transmission. Here we model the requirements for spread of such an agent and the associated reduction in disease transmission. First, a simulation of mosquito population age structure was used to describe the age distribution of mosquitoes transmitting dengue virus. Second, given varying levels of cytoplasmic incompatibility and fecundity effect, the maximum possible longevity reduction that would allow Wolbachia to invade was obtained. Finally, the two models were combined to estimate the reduction in disease transmission according to different introduction frequencies. With strong CI and limited effect of fecundity, an introduction of Wolbachia with an initial frequency of 0.4 could result in a 60-80% reduction of transmitting mosquitoes. Greater reductions are possible at higher initial release rates.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center