Keywords: wolbachia

Number of Project Wolbachia mosquitoes released is constantly reviewed to maintain suppression of dengue: NEA

N. L. Ching,  today,  2021.
Project Wolbachia – Singapore has yielded promising results so far.Releases of non-biting male Wolbachia-Aedes mosquitoes have suppressed the urban Aedes aegypti mosquito populations in study sites at Tampines and Yishun by up to 90 per cent, and we have observed 58 to 74 per ...
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Genetic Biocontrol Webinars

David O'Brochta and Hector Quemada,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2021.
In the mid 20th century various ideas emerged concerning how genetics and genetic principles could be directly applied to age-old problems of managing insects that threaten food security and public health.  This series of webinars will explore the current state-of-the-art of ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

How to engage communities on a large scale? Lessons from World Mosquito Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations]

G. B. Costa, R. Smithyman, S. L. O'Neill and L. A. Moreira,  Gates Open Research,  2021.
Here we discuss and analyse the framework for community engagement implemented by the WMP in Brazil, during the large-scale deployment of the method in the municipalities of Niterói and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Our experience indicates that the community engagement work for ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Reply to: Issues with combining incompatible and sterile insect techniques

Y. Li, L. A. Baton, D. Zhang, J. Bouyer, A. G. Parker, A. A. Hoffmann, L. C. Ng, C. H. Tan and Z. Xi,  Nature,  590:E3-E5. 2021.
When the aim is elimination of the target population, Uni-CI and Bi-CI do not have appreciably different risks of population replacement. The small-scale field trial8 cited by Moretti and Calvitti in their Comment1 does not provide evidence that Bi-CI protects against population ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Issues with combining incompatible and sterile insect techniques

R. Moretti and M. Calvitti,  Nature,  590:E1-E2. 2021.
In a recent paper, Zheng at al.1 performed field experiments that tested a strategy of mosquito suppression based on the release of functionally sterile males produced by the combination of reproductive unidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility (which is induced by the bacterium ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Project Wolbachia: Residents are killing the ‘helpful’ mosquitoes, which can be a nuisance

T. J. Cheng,  today,  2021.
In 2019, Dr Amy Khor, then Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, said that there was a 90 per cent suppression rate at study sites in Tampines and Yishun from February to November that year. However, certain public housing estates under the project ...
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GeneConvene Webinar Series on: Genetic Biocontrol

David O'Brochta and Hector Quemada,  ,  2021.
In the mid 20th century various ideas emerged concerning how genetics and genetic principles could be directly applied to age-old problems of managing insects that threaten food security and public health. This series of webinars will explore the current state-of-the-art of what ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Next-generation tools to control biting midge populations and reduce pathogen transmission

P. Shults, L. W. Cohnstaedt, Z. N. Adelman and C. Brelsfoard,  Parasites and Vectors,  14:31. 2021.
Biting midges of the genus Culicoides transmit disease-causing agents resulting in a significant economic impact on livestock industries in many parts of the world. Localized control efforts, such as removal of larval habitat or pesticide application, can be logistically ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Genetic pest management and the background genetics of release strains

P. T. Leftwich, L. G. Spurgin, T. Harvey-Samuel, C. J. E. Thomas, L. C. Paladino, M. P. Edgington and L. Alphey,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190805. 2020.
We discuss issues around strain selection and the potential consequences of such introgression. We conclude that such introgression is probably harmless in almost all circumstances, and could, in theory, provide specific additional benefits to the release programme. We outline ...
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Wolbachia strain wAlbB maintains high density and dengue inhibition following introduction into a field population of Aedes aegypti

N. A. Ahmad, M.-V. Mancini, T. H. Ant, J. Martinez, G. M. R. Kamarul, W. A. Nazni, A. A. Hoffmann and S. P. Sinkins,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190809. 2020.
Here, wAlbB-carrying Ae. aegypti collected from the field 20 months after the cessation of releases showed no reduction in Wolbachia density or tissue distribution changes compared to a wAlbB laboratory colony. The wAlbB strain continued to induce complete unidirectional ...
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Modelling the Wolbachia incompatible insect technique: strategies for effective mosquito population elimination

D. E. Pagendam, B. J. Trewin, N. Snoad, S. A. Ritchie, A. A. Hoffmann, K. M. Staunton, C. Paton and N. Beebe,  BMC Biology,  18:13. 2020.
We introduce a simple Markov population process model for studying mosquito populations subjected to a Wolbachia-IIT programme which exhibit an unstable equilibrium threshold. The model is used to study, in silico, scenarios that are likely to yield a successful elimination ...
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Reply to: “Enhancement of Aedes aegypti susceptibility to dengue by Wolbachia is not supported”

C. Souto-Maior, J. G. King, L. M. Sartori, R. Maciel-de-Freitas and M. G. M. Gomes,  Nature Communications,  11:6113. 2020.
Ant et al.4 claim that concerns with the data and broader analysis make our conclusions misleading. We herein respond to their comments by demonstrating the robustness of our results to different treatments of the data, and expand our arguments for replacing currently adopted ...
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Enhancement of Aedes aegypti susceptibility to dengue by Wolbachia is not supported

T. H. Ant, M.-V. Mancini, J. Martinez and S. P. Sinkins,  Nature Communications,  11:6111. 2020.
King et al.3 used DENV infection and transmission modelling to reinterpret experimental data from two previous studies4,5. The authors claimed that wMel Wolbachia increase the mean susceptibility of Ae. aegypti to DENV, contradicting various other studies6,7,8,9,10,11,12. Here, ...
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Vector-Focused Approaches to Curb Malaria Transmission in the Brazilian Amazon: An Overview of Current and Future Challenges and Strategies

E. M. Rocha, R. D. Katak, J. C. de Oliveira, M. D. Araujo, B. C. Carlos, R. Galizi, F. Tripet, O. Marinotti and J. A. Souza,  Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease,  5. 2020.
Here we present an overview on both conventional and novel promising vector-focused tools to curb malaria transmission in the Brazilian Amazon. If well designed and employed, vector-based approaches may improve the implementation of malaria-control programs, particularly in ...
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Selfish genetic elements and male fertility

R. L. Verspoor, T. A. R. Price and N. Wedell,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences,  375:7. 2020.
Selfish genetic elements (SGEs) are diverse and near ubiquitous in Eukaryotes and can be potent drivers of evolution. Here, we discuss SGEs that specifically act on sperm to gain a transmission advantage to the next generation. The diverse SGEs that affect sperm often impose ...
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Resistance to natural and synthetic gene drive systems

T. A. R. Price, N. Windbichler, R. L. Unckless, A. Sutter, J.-N. Runge, P. A. Ross, A. Pomiankowski, N. L. Nuckolls, C. Montchamp-Moreau, N. Mideo, O. Y. Martin, A. Manser, M. Legros, A. M. Larracuente, L. Holman, J. Godwin, N. Gemmell, C. Courret, A. Buc,  Journal of Evolutionary Biology,  2020.
This review summarizes our current knowledge of drive resistance in both natural and synthetic gene drives. We explore how insights from naturally occurring and synthetic drive systems can be integrated to improve the design of gene drives, better predict the outcome of releases ...
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The Evolving Arsenal Against Mosquito-Born Diseases

J. Smith,  Labiotech.eu,  2020.
As the global climate continues to warm, disease-spreading mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti are expected to establish themselves in the US and Europe.
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Prospects and Pitfalls: Next-Generation Tools to Control Mosquito-Transmitted Disease

E. P. Caragata, S. Dong, Y. Dong, M. L. Simões, C. V. Tikhe and G. Dimopoulos,  Annual Review of Microbiology,  74:455-475. 2020.
A diverse array of next-generation tools has been designed to eliminate mosquito populations or to replace them with mosquitoes that are less capable of transmitting key pathogens.
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How to fight the deadly dengue virus? Make your own mosquitoes

J. Emont,  Wall Street Journal,  2020.
When the bacteria-laden male mosquitoes are released into the open and mate with naturally-born females, the resultant eggs won’t hatch.
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Non-GMO approach reduces cases of mosquito-borne dengue by 77%

GM Watch,  GM Watch,  2020.
A randomized field trial found that mosquitoes infected with a natural bacterium called Wolbachia reduced cases of dengue by an "extraordinary" 77%.
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Bacteria-Laced Mosquitoes Limit Spread of Dengue

A. Heidt,  The Scientist,  2020.
Researchers have infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes—the species responsible for passing on many diseases—with bacteria called Wolbachia with the intent of reducing the insects’ ability to pass on dengue to people.
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Scientists infect mosquitoes with bacteria to stop the transmission of dengue fever in Indonesia, dropping infection rates by 77 percent

D. Avery,  Daily Mail,  2020.
The team found that dengue infections were 77 percent lower in treated neighborhoods, compared to areas not exposed to the infected insects.
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The mosquito strategy that could eliminate dengue

E. Callaway,  Nature,  2020.
The study, conducted in an Indonesia city, showed that releasing mosquitoes modified to carry a bacterium called Wolbachia, which stops the insects from transmitting some viruses, led to a steep drop in cases of dengue fever.
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Researchers Find New Approach To Control Dengue, Zika By Genetically Modifying Mosquitoes

N. Sharma,  R. Republicworld.com,  2020.
A new study carried out in Indonesia has shown that dengue infection rates decreased in regions where the genetically modified mosquitoes were introduced.
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Australian research takes aim at dengue, another killer virus

E. Connors,  Finanacial Review,  2020.
Australian researchers have teamed up with Indonesian philanthropists to strike a blow against dengue fever, the deadly disease that was a growing scourge in south-east Asia and South America long before COVID-19.
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Australian scientists slash dengue fever in Indonesia by infecting mosquitoes with bacteria

A. Barker,  ABC News,  2020.
Australian scientists may have found the secret to eradicating dengue fever, with a lengthy trial in Indonesia drastically reducing the incidence of the mosquito-borne virus.
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Fighting mosquito-borne diseases… with mosquitoes

N. Gubert and A. Baubeau,  Phys Org,  2020.
For decades, researchers have scratched their heads over how to combat deadly mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever.
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Cytoplasmic incompatibility: an autocidal mechanism for mosquito population control

V. Dev,  BugBitten BMC,  2020.
Cytoplasmic incompatibility resulting in non-reciprocal fertility is a naturally occurring phenomenon, but remains unexplored to greater extent for the control of insect vector populations. This mechanism deserves priority for mosquito control and reducing disease transmission, ...
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Modeling the suppression dynamics of Aedes mosquitoes with mating inhomogeneity

M. Huang and L. Hu,  Journal of Biological Dynamics,  14:656-678. 2020.
In this work, we introduce a delay differential equation model with mating inhomogeneity to discuss mosquito population suppression based on Wolbachia. Our analyses show that the wild mosquitoes could be eliminated if either the adult mortality rate exceeds the threshold δ∗A ...
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Artificial Selection Finds New Hypotheses for the Mechanism of Wolbachia-Mediated Dengue Blocking in Mosquitoes

S. A. Ford, I. Albert, S. L. Allen, S. F. Chenoweth, M. Jones, C. Koh, A. Sebastian, L. T. Sigle and E. A. McGraw,  Frontiers in Microbiology,  11:1456. 2020.
We recently used experimental evolution to reveal that Wolbachia-mediated dengue blocking could be selected upon in the A. aegypti host and showed evidence that strong levels of blocking could be maintained by natural selection. In this study, we investigate the genetic variation ...
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Detecting the population dynamics of an autosomal sex ratio distorter transgene in malaria vector mosquitoes

P. Pollegioni, A. R. North, T. Persampieri, A. Bucci, R. L. Minuz, D. A. Groneberg, T. Nolan, P. A. Papathanos, A. Crisanti and R. Muller,  Journal of Applied Ecology,  11. 2020.
A sex-distorting autosomal transgene has been developed recently in G3 mosquitoes, a laboratory strain of the malaria vectorAnopheles gambiaes.l. Following the World Health Organization guidance framework for the testing of GM mosquitoes, we assessed the dynamics of this ...
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Genetic Biocontrol – An Overview

GeneConvene Global Collaborative,,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2020.
This video explains what genetic biocontrol is and surveys various technologies that can be consider genetic biocontrol technologies.  It offers a conceptual organization of the various technologies based on the potential of genetic biocontrol organisms to persist and spread in ...
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Mosquito-Borne Diseases Emergence/Resurgence and How to Effectively Control It Biologically

H. Dahmana and O. Mediannikov,  Pathogens,  9:26. 2020.
Deadly pathogens and parasites are transmitted by vectors and the mosquito is considered the most threatening vector in public health, transmitting these pathogens to humans and animals. We are currently witnessing the emergence/resurgence in new regions/populations of the most ...
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Can we kill the dreaded mosquito? Do we even want to?

Stacey McKenna,  Sierra,  2020.
As a major vector for disease, the mosquito has harmed more human beings than just about any other animal, and a changing climate is only boosting those numbers. As the range of disease-carrying species of mosquitoes expands, so does their ability to transmit the parasites and ...
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Selfish genes and sexual selection: the impact of genomic parasites on host reproduction

N. Wedell,  Journal of Zoology,  311:1-12. 2020.
Selfish genetic elements (SGEs) such as replicating mobile elements, segregation distorters and maternally inherited endosymbionts, bias their transmission success relative to the rest of the genome to increase in representation in subsequent generations. As such, they generate ...
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The potential cost-effectiveness of controlling dengue in Indonesia using wMel Wolbachia released at scale: a modelling study

O. J. Brady, D. D. Kharisma, N. N. Wilastonegoro, K. M. Reilly, E. Hendricx, L. S. Bastos, L. Yakob and D. S. Shepard,  medRxiv,  2020.01.11.20017186. 2020.
Wolbachia releases in high density urban areas is expected to be highly cost-effective and could potentially be the first cost saving intervention for dengue. Sites with strong public health infrastructure, fiscal capacity, and community support should be prioritized.
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Wolbachia transinfections in Culex quinquefasciatus generate cytoplasmic incompatibility

T. H. Ant, C. Herd, F. Louis, A. B. Failloux and S. P. Sinkins,  Insect Molecular Biology,  29:1-8. 2020.
Culex quinquefasciatus is an important mosquito vector of a number of viral and protozoan pathogens of humans and animals, and naturally carries the endosymbiont Wolbachia pipientis, strain wPip. Wolbachia are used in two distinct vector control strategies: firstly, population ...
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The toxin–antidote model of cytoplasmic incompatibility: Genetics and evolutionary implications

Beckmann, J. F., M. Bonneau, H. Chen, M. Hochstrasser, D. Poinsot, H. Merçot, M. Weill, M. Sicard and S. Charlat,  Trends in Genetics,  35:175-185. 2019.
Wolbachia bacteria inhabit the cells of about half of all arthropod species, an unparalleled success stemming in large part from selfish invasive strategies. Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), whereby the symbiont makes itself essential to embryo viability, is the most common of ...
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Incompatible and sterile insect techniques combined eliminate mosquitoes

X. Zheng, D. Zhang, Y. Li, C. Yang, Y. Wu, X. Liang, Y. Liang, X. Pan, L. Hu, Q. Sun, X. Wang, Y. Wei, J. Zhu, W. Qian, Z. Yan, A. G. Parker, J. R. L. Gilles, K. Bourtzis, J. Bouyer, M. Tang, B. Zheng, J. Yu, J. Liu, J. Zhuang, Z. Hu, M. Zhang, J.-T. Gon,  572,  56-61. 2019.
Here we show that combining incompatible and sterile insect techniques (IIT–SIT) enables near elimination of field populations of the world’s most invasive mosquito species, Aedes albopictus. Millions of factory-reared adult males with an artificial triple-Wolbachia infection ...
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Engineered resistance to Zika virus in transgenic Aedes aegypti expressing a polycistronic cluster of synthetic small RNAs

Buchman, AG, S.; Li, M.; Antoshechkin, I.; Li, H. H.; Wang, H. W.; Chen, C. H.; Klein, M. J.; Duchemin, J. B.; Paradkar, P. N.; Akbari, O. S.,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,  116:3656-3661. 2019.
Recent Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreaks have highlighted the necessity for development of novel vector control strategies to combat arboviral transmission, including genetic versions of the sterile insect technique, artificial infection with Wolbachia to reduce population size and/or ...
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The toxin–antidote model of cytoplasmic incompatibility: Genetics and evolutionary implications

Beckmann, JFB, Manon; Chen, Hongli; Hochstrasser, Mark; Poinsot, Denis; Merçot, Hervé; Weill, Mylène; Sicard, Mathieu; Charlat, Sylvain,  Trends in Genetics,  35:175-185. 2019.
Wolbachia bacteria inhabit the cells of about half of all arthropod species, an unparalleled success stemming in large part from selfish invasive strategies. Cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), whereby the symbiont makes itself essential to embryo viability, is the most common of ...
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Two-By-One model of cytoplasmic incompatibility: Synthetic recapitulation by transgenic expression of cifA and cifB in Drosophila

Shropshire, JDB, S. R.,  PLOS Genetics,  15:e1008221. 2019.
Wolbachia are maternally inherited bacteria that infect arthropod species worldwide and are deployed in vector control to curb arboviral spread using cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI). CI kills embryos when an infected male mates with an uninfected female, but the lethality is ...
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One prophage WO gene rescues cytoplasmic incompatibility in Drosophila melanogaster

Shropshire, J. D., J. On, E. M. Layton, H. Zhou and S. R. Bordenstein,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  115:4987. 2018.
The World Health Organization recommended pilot deployment of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to curb viral transmission to humans. Releases of mosquitoes are underway worldwide because Wolbachia can block replication of these pathogenic viruses and deterministically spread by a ...
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Evolutionary genetics of cytoplasmic incompatibility genes cifA and cifB in prophage WO of Wolbachia

Lindsey, A. R. I., D. W. Rice, S. R. Bordenstein, A. W. Brooks, S. R. Bordenstein and I. L. G. Newton,  Genome Biology and Evolution,  10:434-451. 2018.
The bacterial endosymbiont Wolbachia manipulates arthropod reproduction to facilitate its maternal spread through host populations. The most common manipulation is cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI): Wolbachia-infected males produce modified sperm that cause embryonic mortality, ...
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Rapid comeback of males: evolution of male-killer suppression in a green lacewing population

Hayashi, MN, M.; Kageyama, D.,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences,  285:6. 2018.
Evolutionary theory predicts that the spread of cytoplasmic sex ratio distorters leads to the evolution of host nuclear suppressors, although there are extremely few empirical observations of this phenomenon. Here, we demonstrate that a nuclear suppressor of a cytoplasmic male ...
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Genetics and genomics of an unusual selfish sex ratio distortion in an insect

Hamilton, PTH, C. N.; Curtis, C. I.; Perlman, S. J.,  Current Biology,  28:3864-3870. 2018.
Diverse selfish genetic elements have evolved the ability to manipulate reproduction to increase their transmission, and this can result in highly distorted sex ratios [1]. Indeed, one of the major explanations for why sex determination systems are so dynamic is because they are ...
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SCIENTIFIC OPINION: In response to the referral of 12 October 2015 concerning use of genetically modified mosquitoes for vector control

High Council for Biotechnology,  High Council for Biotechnology (France),  2017.
The Scientific Committee’s opinion describes emerging vector control techniques using GM mosquitoes, the current state of research into and development of these techniques and the outcomes of initial experiments worldwide. To date, only one technique has been developed to an ...
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A Wolbachia deubiquitylating enzyme induces cytoplasmic incompatibility

Beckmann, J. F., J. A. Ronau and M. Hochstrasser,  Nature Microbiology,  2:17007. 2017.
Wolbachia are obligate intracellular bacteria1 that infect arthropods, including approximately two-thirds of insect species2. Wolbachia manipulate insect reproduction by enhancing their inheritance through the female germline. The most common alteration is cytoplasmic ...
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Genetic conflicts: the usual suspects and beyond

McLaughlin, RNM, H. S.,  Journal of Experimental Biology,  220:6-17. 2017.
Selfishness is pervasive and manifests at all scales of biology, from societies, to individuals, to genetic elements within a genome. The relentless struggle to seek evolutionary advantages drives perpetual cycles of adaptation and counter-adaptation, commonly referred to as Red ...
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Advances in vector control science: Rear-and-release strategies show promise… but don’t forget the basics

Ritchie, SAJ, B. J.,  Journal of Infectious Diseases,  215:S103-S108. 2017.
Both chikungunya and Zika viruses have recently swept from Africa across the Pacific to the Americas, causing major outbreaks of disease in humans. In the meantime, dengue epidemics continue throughout the tropics. Traditional vector control programs based on strategies from ...
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To what extent do different types of sex ratio distorters interfere?

Engelstadter, JM, H.; Hurst, G. D. D.,  Evolution,  58:2382-2386. 2004.
Within the Diptera, two different selfish genetic elements are known to cause the production of female-biased sex ratios: maternally inherited bacteria that kill male zygotes (male-killers), and X chromosomes causing the degeneration of Y-bearing sperm in males (meiotic drive). ...
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Persistence of an extreme sex-ratio bias in a natural population

Dyson, EAH, G. D. D.,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,  101:6520-6523. 2004.
The sex ratio is a key parameter in the evolution and ecology of a species. Selfish genetic elements that bias the sex ratio of affected individuals are well known and characterized, but their effect on populations has been considered limited, because either the element does not ...
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Wolbachia as a possible means of driving genes into populations

Curtis, CFS, S. P.,  Parasitology,  116:S111-S115. 1998.
Cytoplasmic incompatibility consists of sterility in cross matings, the crossing type being maternally inherited. It can be explained by the action of Wolbachia symbionts which are transmitted through the egg cytoplasm and leave an imprint on the sperm which prevents it ...
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Population replacement in Culex-fatigans by means of cytoplasmic incompatibility .2. Field cage experiments with overlapping generations

C. F. Curtis,  Bulletin of the World Health Organization,  53:107-119. 1976.
Three experiments were carried out in field cages to test the principle of " transport" of a desirable gene or chromosome into a wild Culex fatigans population as a result of the sterility in cross-matings associated with cytoplasmic incompatibility. Cycling populations of Delhi ...
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Eradication of Culex pipiens fatigans through cytoplasmic incompatibility.

H. Laven,  Nature,  216:383. 1967.
Culex pipiens fatigans is the chief vector of filariasis in south-east Asia. Urbanization has often caused the numbers of this mosquito-and with it the danger of filariasis infection-to increase alarmingly. The natural vigour, tolerance and fast development of resistance to ...
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Keywords: wolbachia

Number of Project Wolbachia mosquitoes released is constantly reviewed to maintain suppression of dengue: NEA

N. L. Ching,  today,  2021.
Project Wolbachia – Singapore has yielded promising results so far.Releases of non-biting male Wolbachia-Aedes mosquitoes have suppressed the urban Aedes aegypti mosquito populations in study sites at Tampines and Yishun by up to 90 per cent, and we have observed 58 to 74 per ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Genetic Biocontrol Webinars

David O'Brochta and Hector Quemada,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2021.
In the mid 20th century various ideas emerged concerning how genetics and genetic principles could be directly applied to age-old problems of managing insects that threaten food security and public health.  This series of webinars will explore the current state-of-the-art of ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

How to engage communities on a large scale? Lessons from World Mosquito Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations]

G. B. Costa, R. Smithyman, S. L. O'Neill and L. A. Moreira,  Gates Open Research,  2021.
Here we discuss and analyse the framework for community engagement implemented by the WMP in Brazil, during the large-scale deployment of the method in the municipalities of Niterói and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Our experience indicates that the community engagement work for ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Reply to: Issues with combining incompatible and sterile insect techniques

Y. Li, L. A. Baton, D. Zhang, J. Bouyer, A. G. Parker, A. A. Hoffmann, L. C. Ng, C. H. Tan and Z. Xi,  Nature,  590:E3-E5. 2021.
When the aim is elimination of the target population, Uni-CI and Bi-CI do not have appreciably different risks of population replacement. The small-scale field trial8 cited by Moretti and Calvitti in their Comment1 does not provide evidence that Bi-CI protects against population ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Issues with combining incompatible and sterile insect techniques

R. Moretti and M. Calvitti,  Nature,  590:E1-E2. 2021.
In a recent paper, Zheng at al.1 performed field experiments that tested a strategy of mosquito suppression based on the release of functionally sterile males produced by the combination of reproductive unidirectional cytoplasmic incompatibility (which is induced by the bacterium ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Project Wolbachia: Residents are killing the ‘helpful’ mosquitoes, which can be a nuisance

T. J. Cheng,  today,  2021.
In 2019, Dr Amy Khor, then Senior Minister of State for the Environment and Water Resources, said that there was a 90 per cent suppression rate at study sites in Tampines and Yishun from February to November that year. However, certain public housing estates under the project ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

GeneConvene Webinar Series on: Genetic Biocontrol

David O'Brochta and Hector Quemada,  ,  2021.
In the mid 20th century various ideas emerged concerning how genetics and genetic principles could be directly applied to age-old problems of managing insects that threaten food security and public health. This series of webinars will explore the current state-of-the-art of what ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Next-generation tools to control biting midge populations and reduce pathogen transmission

P. Shults, L. W. Cohnstaedt, Z. N. Adelman and C. Brelsfoard,  Parasites and Vectors,  14:31. 2021.
Biting midges of the genus Culicoides transmit disease-causing agents resulting in a significant economic impact on livestock industries in many parts of the world. Localized control efforts, such as removal of larval habitat or pesticide application, can be logistically ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Genetic pest management and the background genetics of release strains

P. T. Leftwich, L. G. Spurgin, T. Harvey-Samuel, C. J. E. Thomas, L. C. Paladino, M. P. Edgington and L. Alphey,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190805. 2020.
We discuss issues around strain selection and the potential consequences of such introgression. We conclude that such introgression is probably harmless in almost all circumstances, and could, in theory, provide specific additional benefits to the release programme. We outline ...
Keywords: , , , , , , ,

Wolbachia strain wAlbB maintains high density and dengue inhibition following introduction into a field population of Aedes aegypti

N. A. Ahmad, M.-V. Mancini, T. H. Ant, J. Martinez, G. M. R. Kamarul, W. A. Nazni, A. A. Hoffmann and S. P. Sinkins,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences,  376:20190809. 2020.
Here, wAlbB-carrying Ae. aegypti collected from the field 20 months after the cessation of releases showed no reduction in Wolbachia density or tissue distribution changes compared to a wAlbB laboratory colony. The wAlbB strain continued to induce complete unidirectional ...
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Modelling the Wolbachia incompatible insect technique: strategies for effective mosquito population elimination

D. E. Pagendam, B. J. Trewin, N. Snoad, S. A. Ritchie, A. A. Hoffmann, K. M. Staunton, C. Paton and N. Beebe,  BMC Biology,  18:13. 2020.
We introduce a simple Markov population process model for studying mosquito populations subjected to a Wolbachia-IIT programme which exhibit an unstable equilibrium threshold. The model is used to study, in silico, scenarios that are likely to yield a successful elimination ...
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Reply to: “Enhancement of Aedes aegypti susceptibility to dengue by Wolbachia is not supported”

C. Souto-Maior, J. G. King, L. M. Sartori, R. Maciel-de-Freitas and M. G. M. Gomes,  Nature Communications,  11:6113. 2020.
Ant et al.4 claim that concerns with the data and broader analysis make our conclusions misleading. We herein respond to their comments by demonstrating the robustness of our results to different treatments of the data, and expand our arguments for replacing currently adopted ...
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Enhancement of Aedes aegypti susceptibility to dengue by Wolbachia is not supported

T. H. Ant, M.-V. Mancini, J. Martinez and S. P. Sinkins,  Nature Communications,  11:6111. 2020.
King et al.3 used DENV infection and transmission modelling to reinterpret experimental data from two previous studies4,5. The authors claimed that wMel Wolbachia increase the mean susceptibility of Ae. aegypti to DENV, contradicting various other studies6,7,8,9,10,11,12. Here, ...
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Vector-Focused Approaches to Curb Malaria Transmission in the Brazilian Amazon: An Overview of Current and Future Challenges and Strategies

E. M. Rocha, R. D. Katak, J. C. de Oliveira, M. D. Araujo, B. C. Carlos, R. Galizi, F. Tripet, O. Marinotti and J. A. Souza,  Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease,  5. 2020.
Here we present an overview on both conventional and novel promising vector-focused tools to curb malaria transmission in the Brazilian Amazon. If well designed and employed, vector-based approaches may improve the implementation of malaria-control programs, particularly in ...
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Selfish genetic elements and male fertility

R. L. Verspoor, T. A. R. Price and N. Wedell,  Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences,  375:7. 2020.
Selfish genetic elements (SGEs) are diverse and near ubiquitous in Eukaryotes and can be potent drivers of evolution. Here, we discuss SGEs that specifically act on sperm to gain a transmission advantage to the next generation. The diverse SGEs that affect sperm often impose ...
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Resistance to natural and synthetic gene drive systems

T. A. R. Price, N. Windbichler, R. L. Unckless, A. Sutter, J.-N. Runge, P. A. Ross, A. Pomiankowski, N. L. Nuckolls, C. Montchamp-Moreau, N. Mideo, O. Y. Martin, A. Manser, M. Legros, A. M. Larracuente, L. Holman, J. Godwin, N. Gemmell, C. Courret, A. Buc,  Journal of Evolutionary Biology,  2020.
This review summarizes our current knowledge of drive resistance in both natural and synthetic gene drives. We explore how insights from naturally occurring and synthetic drive systems can be integrated to improve the design of gene drives, better predict the outcome of releases ...
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The Evolving Arsenal Against Mosquito-Born Diseases

J. Smith,  Labiotech.eu,  2020.