Reduced dengue incidence following deployments of Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti in Yogyakarta, Indonesia: a quasi-experimental trial using controlled interrupted time series analysis

Citra Indriani, Warsito Tantowijoyo, Edwige Rancès, Bekti Andari, Equatori Prabowo, Dedik Yusdi, Muhammad Ridwan Ansari, Dwi Satria Wardana, Endah Supriyati, Indah Nurhayati, Inggrid Ernesia, Sigit Setyawan, Iva Fitriana, Eggi Arguni, Yudiria Amelia, Riris Andono Ahmad, Nicholas P. Jewell, Suzanne M. Dufault, Peter A. Ryan, Benjamin R. GreenThomas F. McAdam, Scott L. O'Neill, Stephanie K. Tanamas, Cameron P. Simmons, Katherine L. Anders, Adi Utarini

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Ae. aegypti mosquitoes stably transfected with the intracellular bacterium Wolbachia pipientis ( wMel strain) have been deployed for biocontrol of dengue and related arboviral diseases in multiple countries. Field releases in northern Australia have previously demonstrated near elimination of local dengue transmission from Wolbachia-treated communities, and pilot studies in Indonesia have demonstrated the feasibility and acceptability of the method. We conducted a quasi-experimental trial to evaluate the impact of scaled Wolbachia releases on dengue incidence in an endemic setting in Indonesia. Methods: In Yogyakarta City, Indonesia, following extensive community engagement, wMel Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes were released every two weeks for 13-15 rounds over seven months in 2016-17, in a contiguous 5 km 2 area (population 65,000). A 3 km 2 area (population 34,000) on the opposite side of the city was selected a priori as an untreated control area. Passive surveillance data on notified hospitalised dengue patients was used to evaluate the epidemiological impact of Wolbachia deployments, using controlled interrupted time-series analysis. Results: Rapid and sustained introgression of wMel Wolbachia into local Ae. aegypti populations was achieved. Thirty-four dengue cases were notified from the intervention area and 53 from the control area (incidence 26 vs 79 per 100,000 person-years) during 24 months following Wolbachia deployment. This corresponded in the regression model to a 73% reduction in dengue incidence (95% confidence interval 49%,86%) associated with the Wolbachia intervention. Exploratory analysis including 6 months additional post-intervention observations showed a small strengthening of this effect (30 vs 115 per 100,000 person-years; 76% reduction in incidence, 95%CI 60%,86%). Conclusions: We demonstrate a significant reduction in dengue incidence following successful introgression of Wolbachia into local Ae. aegypti populations in an endemic setting in Indonesia. These findings are consistent with previous field trials in northern Australia, and support the effectiveness of this novel approach for dengue control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number50
Number of pages16
JournalGates Open Research
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Aedes aegypti
  • Dengue
  • Indonesia
  • Interrupted time series analysis
  • Mosquito release
  • Quasi-experimental study
  • Vector-borne disease
  • Wolbachia
  • World Mosquito Program

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