Research expands in Rio de Janeiro

A year after the first release of Wolbachia mosquitoes in South America, our Brazilian team has successfully expanded field trials in Rio de Janeiro.

In August 2015 Jurujuba, in the city of Niterói, became the second Brazilian neighbourhood to welcome releases of Wolbachia mosquitoes. This time, instead of releasing adult mosquitoes, the team are placing small egg release containers at local homes with the permission of residents. These containers hold Wolbachia mosquito eggs, which hatch and fly out to breed with wild mosquitoes. We hope that egg releases will be a more sustainable and cost-effective method of releasing Wolbachia mosquitoes. Egg release results from other field trial sites around the world are encouraging and we hope to trial this method in other areas of Brazil in the future. 

After discussion with local residents and obtaining community support, our Brazilian team began a second series of releases in Tubiacanga in August 2015 to establish Wolbachia in the local mosquito population. This time, both release methods are being used: releases of adult mosquitoes with Wolbachia and the use of egg release containers. Levels of Wolbachia in Tubiacanga and Jurujuba are looking promising and continue to increase.

We’re very grateful to the communities of Tubiacanga and Jurujuba for taking an active role in our research, which has allowed us to gain insights into the most effective ways to implement our approach in different settings.