Externalities modulate the effectiveness of the Wolbachia release programme

E. E. Ooi and A. Wilder-Smith,  The Lancet Infectious Diseases,  2022.

Despite the remarkable outcome in Yogyakarta, the wMel approach also has some challenges. In particular, the extent to which ecological, weather, and other external factors influence the dissemination and establishment of wMel in complex urban environments remains unclear. Whether the high and sustained penetration rate of wMel and the efficacy in preventing dengue that was observed in Yogyakarta are readily reproducible in other regions of the world that are vulnerable to repeated outbreaks of such viral diseases is also unclear.
We therefore welcome the study into the real-world effectiveness of large-scale wMel release in the urban setting of Rio de Janeiro.3 The study assessed the rate of wMel introgression at the neighbourhood level and its effect on the localised incidence of dengue and chikungunya. Mosquitoes were released over a 2·5-year period starting in August, 2017.

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