Scaled deployment of Wolbachia to protect the community from dengue and other Aedes transmitted arboviruses

Scott L O'Neill, Peter A. Ryan, Andrew P Turley, Geoffrey Wilson, Kate Retzki, Inaki Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Yi Dong, Nichola Kenny, Christopher J Paton, Scott A Ritchie, Jack Brown-Kenyon, Darren Stanford, Natalie Wittmeier, Katherine L. Anders, Cameron P Simmons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: A number of new technologies are under development for the control of mosquito transmitted viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika that all require the release of modified mosquitoes into the environment. None of these technologies has been able to demonstrate evidence that they can be implemented at a scale beyond small pilots. Here we report the first successful citywide scaled deployment of Wolbachia in the northern Australian city of Townsville.
Methods: The wMel strain of Wolbachia was backcrossed into a local Aedes aegypti genotype and mass reared mosquitoes were deployed as eggs using mosquito release containers (MRCs). In initial stages these releases were undertaken by program staff but in later stages this was replaced by direct community release including the development of a school program that saw children undertake releases. Mosquito monitoring was undertaken with Biogents Sentinel (BGS) traps and individual mosquitoes were screened for the presence of Wolbachia with a Taqman qPCR or LAMP diagnostic assay. Dengue case notifications from Queensland Health Communicable Disease Branch were used to track dengue cases in the city before and after release.
Results: Wolbachia was successfully established into local Ae. aegypti mosquitoes across 66 km2 in four stages over 28 months with full community support. A feature of the program was the development of a scaled approach to community engagement. Wolbachia frequencies have remained stable since deployment and to date no local dengue transmission has been confirmed in any area of Townsville after Wolbachia has established, despite local transmission events every year for the prior 13 years and an epidemiological context of increasing imported cases.
Conclusion: Deployment of Wolbachia into Ae. aegypti populations can be readily scaled to areas of ~60km2 quickly and cost effectively and appears in this context to be effective at stopping local dengue transmission
Original languageEnglish
Article number36
Number of pages27
JournalGates Open Research
Volume2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Dengue
  • World Mosquito Program
  • Eliminate Dengue
  • Aedes aegypti
  • mosquito release
  • community engagement

Cite this

O'Neill, Scott L ; Ryan, Peter A. ; Turley, Andrew P ; Wilson, Geoffrey ; Retzki, Kate ; Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Inaki ; Dong, Yi ; Kenny, Nichola ; Paton, Christopher J ; Ritchie, Scott A ; Brown-Kenyon, Jack ; Stanford, Darren ; Wittmeier, Natalie ; Anders, Katherine L. ; Simmons, Cameron P. / Scaled deployment of Wolbachia to protect the community from dengue and other Aedes transmitted arboviruses. In: Gates Open Research. 2018 ; Vol. 2.
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title = "Scaled deployment of Wolbachia to protect the community from dengue and other Aedes transmitted arboviruses",
abstract = "Background: A number of new technologies are under development for the control of mosquito transmitted viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika that all require the release of modified mosquitoes into the environment. None of these technologies has been able to demonstrate evidence that they can be implemented at a scale beyond small pilots. Here we report the first successful citywide scaled deployment of Wolbachia in the northern Australian city of Townsville.Methods: The wMel strain of Wolbachia was backcrossed into a local Aedes aegypti genotype and mass reared mosquitoes were deployed as eggs using mosquito release containers (MRCs). In initial stages these releases were undertaken by program staff but in later stages this was replaced by direct community release including the development of a school program that saw children undertake releases. Mosquito monitoring was undertaken with Biogents Sentinel (BGS) traps and individual mosquitoes were screened for the presence of Wolbachia with a Taqman qPCR or LAMP diagnostic assay. Dengue case notifications from Queensland Health Communicable Disease Branch were used to track dengue cases in the city before and after release.Results: Wolbachia was successfully established into local Ae. aegypti mosquitoes across 66 km2 in four stages over 28 months with full community support. A feature of the program was the development of a scaled approach to community engagement. Wolbachia frequencies have remained stable since deployment and to date no local dengue transmission has been confirmed in any area of Townsville after Wolbachia has established, despite local transmission events every year for the prior 13 years and an epidemiological context of increasing imported cases.Conclusion: Deployment of Wolbachia into Ae. aegypti populations can be readily scaled to areas of ~60km2 quickly and cost effectively and appears in this context to be effective at stopping local dengue transmission",
keywords = "Dengue, World Mosquito Program, Eliminate Dengue, Aedes aegypti, mosquito release, community engagement",
author = "O'Neill, {Scott L} and Ryan, {Peter A.} and Turley, {Andrew P} and Geoffrey Wilson and Kate Retzki and Inaki Iturbe-Ormaetxe and Yi Dong and Nichola Kenny and Paton, {Christopher J} and Ritchie, {Scott A} and Jack Brown-Kenyon and Darren Stanford and Natalie Wittmeier and Anders, {Katherine L.} and Simmons, {Cameron P}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.12688/gatesopenres.12844.2",
language = "English",
volume = "2",
journal = "Gates Open Research",
issn = "2572-4754",
publisher = "Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation",

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O'Neill, SL, Ryan, PA, Turley, AP, Wilson, G, Retzki, K, Iturbe-Ormaetxe, I, Dong, Y, Kenny, N, Paton, CJ, Ritchie, SA, Brown-Kenyon, J, Stanford, D, Wittmeier, N, Anders, KL & Simmons, CP 2018, 'Scaled deployment of Wolbachia to protect the community from dengue and other Aedes transmitted arboviruses' Gates Open Research, vol. 2, 36. https://doi.org/10.12688/gatesopenres.12844.2

Scaled deployment of Wolbachia to protect the community from dengue and other Aedes transmitted arboviruses. / O'Neill, Scott L; Ryan, Peter A.; Turley, Andrew P; Wilson, Geoffrey; Retzki, Kate; Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Inaki; Dong, Yi; Kenny, Nichola ; Paton, Christopher J; Ritchie, Scott A; Brown-Kenyon, Jack; Stanford, Darren; Wittmeier, Natalie ; Anders, Katherine L.; Simmons, Cameron P.

In: Gates Open Research, Vol. 2, 36, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Scaled deployment of Wolbachia to protect the community from dengue and other Aedes transmitted arboviruses

AU - O'Neill, Scott L

AU - Ryan, Peter A.

AU - Turley, Andrew P

AU - Wilson, Geoffrey

AU - Retzki, Kate

AU - Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Inaki

AU - Dong, Yi

AU - Kenny, Nichola

AU - Paton, Christopher J

AU - Ritchie, Scott A

AU - Brown-Kenyon, Jack

AU - Stanford, Darren

AU - Wittmeier, Natalie

AU - Anders, Katherine L.

AU - Simmons, Cameron P

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Background: A number of new technologies are under development for the control of mosquito transmitted viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika that all require the release of modified mosquitoes into the environment. None of these technologies has been able to demonstrate evidence that they can be implemented at a scale beyond small pilots. Here we report the first successful citywide scaled deployment of Wolbachia in the northern Australian city of Townsville.Methods: The wMel strain of Wolbachia was backcrossed into a local Aedes aegypti genotype and mass reared mosquitoes were deployed as eggs using mosquito release containers (MRCs). In initial stages these releases were undertaken by program staff but in later stages this was replaced by direct community release including the development of a school program that saw children undertake releases. Mosquito monitoring was undertaken with Biogents Sentinel (BGS) traps and individual mosquitoes were screened for the presence of Wolbachia with a Taqman qPCR or LAMP diagnostic assay. Dengue case notifications from Queensland Health Communicable Disease Branch were used to track dengue cases in the city before and after release.Results: Wolbachia was successfully established into local Ae. aegypti mosquitoes across 66 km2 in four stages over 28 months with full community support. A feature of the program was the development of a scaled approach to community engagement. Wolbachia frequencies have remained stable since deployment and to date no local dengue transmission has been confirmed in any area of Townsville after Wolbachia has established, despite local transmission events every year for the prior 13 years and an epidemiological context of increasing imported cases.Conclusion: Deployment of Wolbachia into Ae. aegypti populations can be readily scaled to areas of ~60km2 quickly and cost effectively and appears in this context to be effective at stopping local dengue transmission

AB - Background: A number of new technologies are under development for the control of mosquito transmitted viruses, such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika that all require the release of modified mosquitoes into the environment. None of these technologies has been able to demonstrate evidence that they can be implemented at a scale beyond small pilots. Here we report the first successful citywide scaled deployment of Wolbachia in the northern Australian city of Townsville.Methods: The wMel strain of Wolbachia was backcrossed into a local Aedes aegypti genotype and mass reared mosquitoes were deployed as eggs using mosquito release containers (MRCs). In initial stages these releases were undertaken by program staff but in later stages this was replaced by direct community release including the development of a school program that saw children undertake releases. Mosquito monitoring was undertaken with Biogents Sentinel (BGS) traps and individual mosquitoes were screened for the presence of Wolbachia with a Taqman qPCR or LAMP diagnostic assay. Dengue case notifications from Queensland Health Communicable Disease Branch were used to track dengue cases in the city before and after release.Results: Wolbachia was successfully established into local Ae. aegypti mosquitoes across 66 km2 in four stages over 28 months with full community support. A feature of the program was the development of a scaled approach to community engagement. Wolbachia frequencies have remained stable since deployment and to date no local dengue transmission has been confirmed in any area of Townsville after Wolbachia has established, despite local transmission events every year for the prior 13 years and an epidemiological context of increasing imported cases.Conclusion: Deployment of Wolbachia into Ae. aegypti populations can be readily scaled to areas of ~60km2 quickly and cost effectively and appears in this context to be effective at stopping local dengue transmission

KW - Dengue

KW - World Mosquito Program

KW - Eliminate Dengue

KW - Aedes aegypti

KW - mosquito release

KW - community engagement

U2 - 10.12688/gatesopenres.12844.2

DO - 10.12688/gatesopenres.12844.2

M3 - Article

VL - 2

JO - Gates Open Research

JF - Gates Open Research

SN - 2572-4754

M1 - 36

ER -