Monitoring begins as Indonesian releases continue

We have now completed our third weekly release of Wolbachia mosquitoes in areas of Nogotirto and Kronggahan. With ongoing community support, we will continue to release Wolbachia mosquitoes each week for several months.

We release only a small number of mosquitoes each week, and most community members have not noticed an increase in mosquitoes’ biting or nuisance activity.

The aim of our releases is to establish Wolbachia in the local mosquito populations, which we expect will reduce local dengue transmission. We are monitoring the mosquitoes in and around the release area to determine if we are achieving this aim.

With the permission of residents, we collect mosquitoes each week from our network of mosquito-monitoring traps throughout Nogotirto and Kronggahan. Any Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are taken to our specialised laboratory, where we run diagnostic tests to find out how many of the mosquitoes carry Wolbachia.

Early results look very promising and indicate that our mosquito releases are proceeding as expected. As we obtain further results over coming weeks, we will get an understanding of how well Wolbachia is establishing in the local mosquito populations.

We will continue to monitor mosquitoes each week during the release period and for some time afterwards. We will provide updates on our progress directly to community members and via our website.

In addition to monitoring mosquitoes, we are also monitoring for dengue in the communities of Nogotirto and Kronggahan. A dedicated team of staff is regularly meeting with residents and health workers to enable early detection of dengue symptoms and facilitate access to treatment. Early detection can help prevent further transmission of dengue within the community.

We appreciate residents’ support of our mosquito releases and monitoring. In a small number of areas, some community members had expressed concerns about the release of Wolbachia mosquitoes. In response to these concerns, we have not undertaken any releases of Wolbachia mosquitoes in these areas.

We look forward to sharing our first results with the community in coming weeks.

Pictured: Entomologists identify Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which we then test for the presence of Wolbachia.