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Background

Mosquitoes are a big nuisance for humans ; spreading diseases to and between us when they blood-feed. A lot of work is being done to reduce the incidence of mosquito-borne diseases. Methods to achieve this consist mainly of reducing the habitat, applying larvicide and biological control agents. 

Today, however, it seems clear that current strategies are failing. The incidence of the dengue and malaria is higher than ever. 

A new, novel method is to use the endosymbiontic bacteria Wolbachia to reduce the spread of the dengue. Through infecting mosquito populations with Wolbachia the mosquitoe's fitness and ability to spread the virus is reduced.

Previous theoretical work and work with semi-field conditions has been done regarding the introduction and fixation of Wolbachia in the mosquito Aedes aegypti populations. The results from these studies shows that it is possible to succefully introduce and fixate the infection in mosquito populations.

Aims

This work strive to establish how introductions can be made effective and how feasible they are in different landscape configurations and in different seasons.

The aim is to find optimal release strategies in heterogeneous landscapes
to increase infection frequencies and increase the chance of fixation of
the Wolbachia-infection in mosquito populations. We analyze: (i) how
the rate of dispersal affects the spread between subpopulations; (ii) how
important the number of infected individuals introduced to mosquito
populations are; (iii) the spread in the landscape from populations
infected by the Wolbachia; (iv) the importance of using age-structured
models versus ageless models.


Responsible for this page: Agneta Johansson
Last updated: 05/02/13