Successful local introduction and heterogeneous spatial spread of dengue-suppressing Wolbachia through an urban population of Aedes aegypti Journal Article

Author(s): Schmidt, Tom L; Barton, Nicholas H; Rasic, Gordana; Turley, Andrew P; Montgomery, Brian L; Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Inaki; Cook, Peter E; Ryan, Peter A; Ritchie, Scott A; Hoffmann, Ary A; O’Neill, Scott; Turelli, Michael
Article Title: Successful local introduction and heterogeneous spatial spread of dengue-suppressing Wolbachia through an urban population of Aedes aegypti
Affiliation IST Austria
Abstract: Dengue-suppressing Wolbachia strains are promising tools for arbovirus control, particularly as they have the potential to self-spread following local introductions. To test this, we followed the frequency of the transinfected Wolbachia strain wMel through Ae. aegypti in Cairns, Australia, following releases at 3 nonisolated locations within the city in early 2013. Spatial spread was analysed graphically using interpolation and by fitting a statistical model describing the position and width of the wave. For the larger 2 of the 3 releases (covering 0.97 km2 and 0.52 km2), we observed slow but steady spatial spread, at about 100–200 m per year, roughly consistent with theoretical predictions. In contrast, the smallest release (0.11 km2) produced erratic temporal and spatial dynamics, with little evidence of spread after 2 years. This is consistent with the prediction concerning fitness-decreasing Wolbachia transinfections that a minimum release area is needed to achieve stable local establishment and spread in continuous habitats. Our graphical and likelihood analyses produced broadly consistent estimates of wave speed and wave width. Spread at all sites was spatially heterogeneous, suggesting that environmental heterogeneity will affect large-scale Wolbachia transformations of urban mosquito populations. The persistence and spread of Wolbachia in release areas meeting minimum area requirements indicates the promise of successful large-scale population transfo
Journal Title: PLoS Biology
ISSN: 1545-7885
Publisher: Public Library of Science  
Date Published: 2017-05-30
Copyright Statement: CC BY
Sponsor: FNIH as part of the Grand Challenges program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to SLO. National Health and Medical Research Council (Nr. 1044698) to SAR. NHMRC program and fellowship funding to AAH. NIH (Nr. R01 GM104325)to MT and AAH.
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2001894
Notes: We thank the staff of the Eliminate Dengue Program for undertaking field and laboratory work and also the people of Cairns for their support of the program. We thank the James Cook University staff for mosquito production, in particular Chris Paton, Mick Townsend, and Jane Lloyd. Blood feeding was done under James Cook University human ethics approval 4450. We thank Brandon S. Cooper for constructive suggestions on a previous draft.
Open access: yes (OA journal)