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Using Wolbachia for Dengue Control: Insights from Modelling.

Abstract

Dengue is the most common arboviral infection of humans, responsible for a substantial disease burden across the tropics. Traditional insecticide-based vector-control programmes have limited effectiveness, and the one licensed vaccine has a complex and imperfect efficacy profile. Strains of the bacterium Wolbachia, deliberately introduced into Aedes aegyptimosquitoes, have been shown to be able to spread to high frequencies in mosquito populations in release trials, and mosquitoes infected with these strains show markedly reduced vector competence. Thus, Wolbachia represents an exciting potential new form of biocontrol for arboviral diseases, including dengue. Here, we review how mathematical models give insight into the dynamics of the spread of Wolbachia, the potential impact of Wolbachia on dengue transmission, and we discuss the remaining challenges in evaluation and development.

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