Using Wolbachia Infections to Control Dengue Transmission

Abstract:

Dengue fever is an emerging insect-transmitted disease causing an estimated 390 million human infections each year. Currently there are no effective treatments beyond prevention measures that focus on reducing population abundance of the main mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti. These strategies are failing to reduce dengue incidence in tropical communities and there is an urgent need for effective alternatives. The Eliminate Dengue Program ( www.eliminatedengue. com ), lead by Prof Scott O'Neill, is examining the potential use of inherited bacterial symbionts of insects known as Wolbachia, as a novel method to interfere with dengue transmission. The presentation will give an overview of Wolbachia-mosquito-pathogen interactions as well as results from open field trials involving releases of Wolbachia infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

Speaker’s Profile:

Dr Peter Ryan, Program Manager of Eliminate Dengue Program, School of Biological Sciences, Monash University Australia