Eruption delays release of Wolbachia mosquitoes

As the clean-up of volcanic ash continues across Yogyakarta, we have paused the release of Wolbachia mosquitoes in our Nogotirto and Kronggahan trial sites for one week.

Mt Kelud – an active volcano approximately 200km from Yogyakarta – erupted on Thursday, 13th February, spreading ash across the island of Java. The governor of Yogyakarta declared a state of emergency for one week, and many schools, universities and government facilities remained closed for this time.

Our other field trial activities have continued, and we hope to recommence our weekly releases of Wolbachia mosquitoes from Wednesday, 26th February. While we encountered some minor technical issues as a result of the eruption, we do not expect this to significantly delay our research in Yogyakarta.

Early results continue to show promise as we monitor the number of mosquitoes that carry Wolbachia in our release sites. Our aim is to establish Wolbachia in the local mosquito populations, which we expect will reduce dengue transmission in these areas.