Illustration by Salih Gonenli

Stopping Dengue

How Scientists Managed to Prevent Its Transmission by Modifying a Mosquito

Dengue and Wolbachia

Introducing Wolbachia to Ae. aegypti Mosquitos

Releasing the Wolbachia Carrying Ae. aegypti Into the Wild

  1. Suppression approach: Reduction or eradication of natural vector populations
  2. Replacement approach: Replacement of natural vector populations through preventing transmission



  1. Min, K. T. & Benzer, S. Wolbachia, normally a symbiont of Drosophila, can be virulent, causing degeneration and early death. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 94, 10792–10796 (1997).
  2. McMeniman, C. J. et al. Stable introduction of a life-shortening Wolbachia infection into the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Science. 323, 141–144 (2009).
  3. Walker, T. et al. The wMel Wolbachia strain blocks dengue and invades caged Aedes aegypti populations. Nature 476, 450–455 (2011).
  4. Nazareth, T. et al. What happens when we modify mosquitoes for disease prevention? A systematic review. Emerg. Microbes Infect. 9, 348–365 (2020).



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