Large-scale releases and establishment of wMel Wolbachia in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes throughout the Cities of Bello, Medellín and Itagüí, Colombia

Velez ID, Uribe A, Barajas J, Uribe S, Ángel S, Suaza-Vasco JD, et al.,  PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  2023.

The wMel strain of Wolbachia has been successfully introduced into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and has been shown to reduce the transmission of dengue and other Aedes-borne viruses. Here we report the entomological results from phased, large-scale releases of Wolbachia infected Aeaegypti mosquitoes throughout three contiguous cities located in the Aburrá Valley, Colombia.

These results, from the largest contiguous releases of wMel Wolbachia mosquitoes to date, highlight the operational feasibility of implementing the method in large urban settings. Based on results from previous studies, we expect that Wolbachia establishment will be sustained long term. Ongoing monitoring will confirm Wolbachia persistence in local mosquito populations and track its establishment in the remaining areas.

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