Promising results in city-wide trial
Initial results from our first city-wide field trial suggest that efforts to establish Wolbachia in the local mosquito population are on track in Townsville, Australia.
Our Townsville team began releasing mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia in October 2014, and they have been gradually working their way across the inner-city suburbs since then. After seven months, we are encouraged to see that Wolbachia is increasing in the local Aedes aegypti mosquito population. The aim is that, over time, almost all the mosquitoes in the area will carry Wolbachia, which we expect will reduce local dengue transmission.
We have released in 14 suburbs of Townsville so far and in half of these areas, most of the mosquitoes are carrying Wolbachia. In the remaining suburbs the levels of Wolbachia are lower but they are continuing to increase.
This means our Wolbachia mosquitoes are breeding with wild mosquitoes and passing on the bacteria to future generations as expected. We now expect Wolbachia levels to continue increasing and, over time, we hope to see Wolbachia establish in the local Aedes aegypti population.
We greatly appreciate the ongoing support from the Townsville community, with more than 2000 locals participating in the field trial by hosting a mosquito release container on their property.