Wolbachia and the biological control of mosquito-borne disease

Inaki Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Thomas Walker, Scott Leslie O'Neill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

306 Citations (Scopus)


Mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever and filariasis cause an enormous health burden to people living in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Despite years of intense effort to control them, many of these diseases are increasing in prevalence, geographical distribution and severity, and options to control them are limited. The transinfection of mosquitos with the maternally inherited, endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia is a promising new biocontrol approach. Fruit fly Wolbachia strains can invade and sustain themselves in mosquito populations, reduce adult lifespan, affect mosquito reproduction and interfere with pathogen replication. Wolbachia-infected Aedes aegypti mos-quitoes have been released in areas of Australia in which outbreaks of dengue fever occur, as a prelude to the application of this tech-nology in dengue-endemic areas of south-east Asia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508 - 518
Number of pages11
JournalEMBO Reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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