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The World Mosquito Program

The World Mosquito Program is helping to protect the global community from mosquito-borne diseases using our natural and self-sustaining Wolbachia method.

About us

The World Mosquito Program (WMP) is a not-for-profit initiative that works to protect the global community from mosquito-borne diseases such as Zika, dengue and chikungunya. Pioneered by Australian researchers, the WMP uses safe and natural bacteria called Wolbachia to reduce the ability of mosquitoes to transmit these viruses.

The WMP has expanded rapidly since launching its first pilot study in Australia in 2011. Following promising results from international pilot studies, local governments and communities are embracing the WMP’s Wolbachia method in 12 countries, with further projects in development.

We believe that through collaboration and innovation, our global approach can help to protect local communities from mosquito-borne diseases.

Our approach

The World Mosquito Program introduces Wolbachia into Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which transmit the Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses. Once Wolbachia carrying mosquitoes are released, they breed with wild mosquitoes. Over time, the majority of mosquitoes carry Wolbachia. These mosquitoes have a reduced ability to transmit viruses to people, decreasing the risk of Zika, dengue and chikungunya outbreaks.

An innovation of the WMP, our Wolbachia method can protect communities from mosquito-borne diseases, without posing risk to natural ecosystems or human health. Unlike most vector control initiatives, the WMP’s method is natural and self-sustaining. Our method does not suppress mosquito populations or involve genetic modification (GM) as the genetic material of the mosquito has not been altered.

Long-term monitoring shows that Wolbachia is self-sustaining at high levels in the majority of our international project sites up to seven years after release. In these areas, we have not seen any dengue outbreaks.

The World Mosquito Program is currently operating in 12 countries around the world – including Australia, Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, Kiribati, Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Mexico. Led by Professor Scott O’Neill, the WMP brings together scientific collaborators from around the world with skills and experience in Wolbachia genetics, mosquito biology and ecology, Aedes aegypti-borne disease epidemiology, vector control, and health education and promotion.

The WMP has two regional hubs – our Asia hub in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Oceania hub, based at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. These hubs support projects in their respective regions and contribute to core global operations.