Estimating the burden of dengue and the impact of release of wMel Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in Indonesia: a modelling study.


Here, we combine multiple modelling methods for burden estimation to predict national case burden disaggregated by severity and map the distribution of burden across the country using three separate data sources. An ensemble of transmission models then predicts the estimated reduction in dengue transmission following a nationwide roll-out of wMel Wolbachia.

These results suggest interventions targeted to the highest burden cities can have a disproportionate impact on dengue burden. Area-wide interventions, such as Wolbachia, that are deployed based on the area covered could protect people more efficiently than individual-based interventions, such as vaccines, in such dense environments.

Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes reduce dengue virus transmission, and city-wide releases in Yogyakarta city, Indonesia, are showing promising entomological results. Accurate estimates of the burden of dengue, its spatial distribution and the potential impact of Wolbachia are critical in guiding funder and government decisions on its future wider use.

We estimate that 7.8 million (95% uncertainty interval [UI] 1.8-17.7 million) symptomatic dengue cases occurred in Indonesia in 2015 and were associated with 332,865 (UI 94,175-754,203) lost disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). The majority of dengue's burden was due to non-severe cases that did not seek treatment or were challenging to diagnose in outpatient settings leading to substantial underreporting. Estimated burden was highly concentrated in a small number of large cities with 90% of dengue cases occurring in 15.3% of land area. Implementing a nationwide Wolbachia population replacement programme was estimated to avert 86.2% (UI 36.2-99.9%) of cases over a long-term average.

MIDAS Network Members

John Edmunds

Professor of Infectious Disease Modelling
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Rachel Lowe

Associate Professor
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine