Wolbachia increasing in Yogyakarta sites
Wolbachia is steadily increasing in the mosquito populations of Jomblangan and Singosaren, our most recent field trial sites in Indonesia. More than 30% of mosquitoes carry Wolbachia in both communities, and we hope to see this continue to rise.
Releases in these areas began in December 2014, with very strong support from the local communities. Hundreds of residents signed up to host mosquito release containers, which house Wolbachia mosquito eggs as they develop into adult mosquitoes. These have been the first trials of our egg release method in Indonesia, after previous trials that involved releasing adult Wolbachia mosquitoes.
In Nogotirto and Kronggahan, where we released mosquitoes from January to June 2014, we are continuing to see encouraging results. More than 80% of mosquitoes in these areas carry Wolbachia and we expect that it will now remain at high levels.
Local medical officials welcomed this news when our Indonesian research team met with members of the Yogyakarta City Health Office to give an update on the trials and our plans for the coming year. Dr Vita Yulia, Chief Medical Officer for the city of Yogyakarta, said she looked forward to seeing the benefits to the community as a result of the research.
Our research activities in Sleman and Bantul are possible through the support of the government and local communities. The project team regularly gives updates on research activities through community and government meetings.
Later this year, we plan to set mosquito traps to monitor the mosquito population of Yogyakarta city. So far, our trials have focused on establishing Wolbachia in local mosquito populations. Now, we are moving towards large-scale trials that will directly measure reductions in dengue.
To determine the most suitable locations for these trials, we will first monitor potential sites to find out more about dengue transmission and the mosquito population in these areas.